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Discussion on Flaxseed - safe, or a source of cyanide?

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lorraine harrington
New Member
Username: Lfh4

Post Number: 1
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Mar 5, 2005 - 11:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have recently read seemingly contradictory statements about the safetly of feeding flaxseed to horses. Once a week, I heat water, soak flaxseed with whole oats, then add bran to make a warm mash. The idea behind the flaxseed is that it should halp clean out any sand, etc., from the stomach.
However, I recently read that soaking flaxseed releases cyanide, and is only safe if you boil the flaxseed.
What is true? Is flaxseed safe?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 12227
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Mar 6, 2005 - 7:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The answer is "it depends" Lorraine. For an explanation see, Care for Horses » Nutrition » Fats and Oils in the Diet of Horses. There is no evidence that flaxseed has a special ability to clear sand and when looking at the efficacy of other muscilagenous feedstuffs, it probably is not more effective than hay or grass.
DrO
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