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Science Supplements® Skin & Coat Horse Skin and Coat Supplement

Science Supplements®

Science Supplements® Skin & Coat Horse Skin and Coat Supplement

Science Supplements® Skin & Coat Supplement for horses is designed to help horses and ponies with poor, damaged or sensitive coat and skin. Thirteen different active ingredients in the formula help support optimal coat and skin function.

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Item #: X1-220705
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Science Supplements® Skin & Coat Supplement for horses is designed to help horses and ponies with poor, damaged or sensitive coat and skin. Thirteen different active ingredients in the formula help support optimal coat and skin function.

Skin & Coat contains omega 3 fatty acids to help promote a shiny coat and healthy skin; omega 3’s have been shown in studies to help animals with insect bite sensitivity. Other ingredients for healthy coat and skin include zinc and copper (needed components of hair growth and color), methionine and MSM as a source of sulfur (building blocks for the protein keratin, a central component of both hair and skin) and the MSM provides anti-inflammatory support.

Also included are biotin (shown to stimulate keratin production by skin cells), L-arginine and vitamin K (support proper bloodflow to skin to help with thermoregulation, nutrient delivery, and wound healing), and additional vitamin A and B6 for proper skin tissue synthesis. Finally, Skin & Coat contains high levels of antioxidants vitamins C and vitamin E, which have been shown to be reduced in a range of skin conditions and help promote tissue integrity. 

A horse’s coat and skin is not just aesthetic. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is not only responsible for control of body temperature and production of vitamin D from sunlight, but it must also protect the horse from environmental factors. These include sunlight, insects, bacteria, molds, fungi and atmospheric pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen and sulfur dioxides. Frequent washing also increases the risk of flaking and skin infections. It is therefore no surprise that poor skin condition can make horses lose condition and fail to thrive.

Any horse with a thin coat, mane and/or tail, lack of shine, dull or dry appearance, poor wound healing, chronically itchy skin, or hair color changes would benefit from skin and coat support. Additionally, during times with increased friction on the skin and coat (blanketing, frequent bathing, use of tack, itching due to pathogens), Skin & Coat can help protect skin from damage and help restore hair integrity.

The Science Behind Each Active Ingredient

Marine source of omega 3: Several studies in horses have demonstrated the beneficial effects of omega 3 supplementation on skin health in horses. Marine omega 3 sources have been shown to enhance the immune response and are anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce itching. Oils in general also result in a glossier coat appearance.

Micronised Linseed: Omega 3 oils from linseed have been shown in horses with sweet itch to alter the fatty acid profile of the hair and reduce inflammation. In addition, oil in the diet results in a glossier coat appearance.

Methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM): MSM is used in many applications for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also a rich source of sulfur (see methionine). In people in a placebo-controlled study, oral MSM has been shown to improve skin firmness and texture and to improve elasticity.


Methionine: Methionine is one of nine essential amino acids which must be obtained from the diet and cannot be made by the horse. Methionine is one of four amino acids that contains sulfur. Hair is composed mainly of a protein called Keratin, which is high in cysteine and methionine. However, it is not necessary to feed cysteine (non-essential amino acid) as it can be made from methionine in the liver. Methionine is also essential for production of collagen, which is a major structural component of skin. Signs of methionine deficiency can include skin lesions and hair loss.

L-Arginine: L-arginine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid (supplementation is needed during illness or injury). Arginine is a precursor of nitric oxide (NO), which is involved in control of blood flow and blood pressure, as well as being an important neurotransmitter. In culture, exposure of skin fibroblasts (cells responsible for making collagen and repairing damaged skin) to arginine encourages them to divide and enhances immune defense, which suggests arginine to be important in repair and wound healing. Arginine supplementation has also been shown to increase protein production in wound healing following burns.

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl monophosphate): Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining skin health. It promotes the differentiation of keratinocytes (cells which make up 90% of the outer layer of the skin) and as their name suggests, they make the protein keratin. These cells contain high levels of vitamin C. Normal, healthy skin needs high concentrations of vitamin C to ensure an intact skin barrier, protect against UV damage and limit inflammation.

Vitamin C deficiency can lead to poor skin condition and may cause or aggravate conditions such as atopic dermatitis and sweet itch. Horses can make their own vitamin C, unlike people, but due to diet, exercise, age, or illness many horses have low levels of vitamin C in their blood. Horses absorb ascorbic acid (common vitamin C form in other supplements) poorly compared with ascorbyl mono-phosphate, which is more effective at raising blood levels and is therefore the only form of vitamin C Science Supplements uses.

Vitamin E: Vitamin E is the main antioxidant present in skin. Vitamin E cannot be made by horses and must be obtained from the diet. Vitamin E usage is increased in older horses, horses that are stressed, and in horses that are ill. Vitamin E depletion in the skin may be induced by UVB rays or by free radicals produced by UVA rays. Ozone in the air may also lead to vitamin E depletion. Vitamin E may prevent signs of aging in skin, as the addition of vitamin E in vitro can restore the synthesis of collagen and prevent oxidative damage to fibroblasts (cells that grow new skin cells).

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is not a single compound but a group comprising retinol, retinaldehyde, retinoic acid, and provitamin A carotenoids, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene and cryptoxanthin. Vitamin A deficiency leads to an abnormal thickening of the skin known as hyperkeratosis in which the skin has abnormally high levels of keratin.


Vitamin K: Vitamin K is one of the four fat soluble vitamins, but it’s often best known for its role in blood clotting. However, less well known is that vitamin K plays an important role in the production and maintenance of skin.

Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is an important nutrient that serves as a cofactor for at least 110 different enzymes, including as an important factor for the growth and repair of skin. Vitamin B6 deficiency leads to suppression of collagen synthesis and dermatitis (inflamed skin).

Chelated Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral required for metabolism, immune function, and wound healing, and zinc also plays a role in the repair of intestinal mucosa. The body does not store excess zinc, so it must be obtained from the diet on regular basis. Zinc deficiency can result in slow wound healing, hair loss, and rough and/or dry skin. Some of these results are from sheer lack of zinc, but some could be from poor absorption of nutrients since zinc is needed for a healthy GI tract. In people, zinc supplements are taken for a variety of skin conditions including itching, rosacea, hair loss, psoriasis, eczema and acne. A study in horses showed that feeding organic zinc (chelate) increased hair elasticity and strength.

Chelated Copper: Copper is an essential mineral that is involved with the function of antioxidant enzymes, keratin (hai

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