Your Guide to Equine Health Care

Does Spirulina Benefit Horses With EMS?

Compared to a control diet, Spirulina supplementation led to significant weight loss and reduced fasting insulin levels, researchers found.

No account yet? Register


Researchers know that equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a growing—and dangerous—problem facing horses and ponies. As such, they’re working continually to find solutions to help lower affected equids’ risk of developing side effects such as obesity and laminitis.

Research studies have revealed that EMS might be linked to intestinal inflammation. So, a team of researchers in Poland recently tested whether blue-green algae (Spirulina platensis)—known for its anti-inflammatory effects—could help horses with EMS.

In a two-party study, the team investigated the in vitro (in the laboratory) application of a Spirulina extract on adipose (fat)-derived mesenchymal cells (ASCs), found in fatty tissue, and intestinal epithelial cells (IECs, the first-line cells exposed to dietary compounds) from EMS horses. The researchers also performed an in vivo (in the live horse) experiment to determine how Spirulina supplementation impacts insulin resistance in EMS horses.

“The antioxidative effect of Spirulina seems to play a fundamental role in the insulin sensitivity process,” noted Krzysztof Marycz, PhD, DSc, head of the Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences Department of Experimental

Create a free account with to view this content. is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.


No account yet? Register

Written by:

Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Which hoof problem do you encounter most often in your horses?
342 votes · 342 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with!