California Riding Magazine • February, 2010

Grand Digest
New product helps horses
get the most from their meals.

Grand Meadows was founded in 1989 and is one of the equine industry’s most trusted supplement manufacturers. As such, it’s no surprise that its newest product, Grand Digest, is already off to a great start. Tackling the horse’s complicated digestive system is a new product category for Grand Meadows, the Orange County-based company that built its name on joint supplements, most famously the Grand Flex line, and coat and hoof conditioners.

As its name suggests, Grand Digest helps horses make better use of the food they eat. Few modern horses eat the way their bodies were designed to, namely grazing regularly throughout the day. Stall-bound life, intense competitive lifestyles and processed feeds are among the elements the equine digestive tract doesn’t cope with very well. A poorly functioning stomach in the horse can manifest itself in diarrhea and frequent colics, but often it is more subtle signs like poor coat quality and cranky behavior.

Grand Digest is unique in its category for its treatment of all three stages of digestion, rather than just what is happening in the horse’s large intestine (cecum and colon), reports Grand Meadows president Nick Hartog. “Grand Digest approaches the digestive system in total,
the primary stomach and both the large and small intestines.”

The small intestine is the digestive workhorse. “About 80 to 90 percent of fats, amino acids and vitamins are absorbed in the small intestine,” Hartog explains. “It seemed important to us to give that some focus.”

Grand Digest has a detoxifying effect that starts in the primary stomach. A combination of Toxynil-Plus™ and Zeolytes bind and neutralize mycotoxins and allow them to pass harmlessly through the body. “Horses are not like cows,” Hartog notes. “They do not have the ability to prevent mycotoxins from getting into their systems.” These two ingredients carry harmful bacteria, from moldy hay, for example, right through the system.

The Multizyme™ blend in Grand Digest does most of its work in the next phase of digestion, in the small intestine. It enhances the enzymatic breakdown of nutrients and glutamine that causes the important intestinal villi to grow and thus improve their ability to absorb and carry nutrients into the bloodstream. Villi are nodules that line the intestinal walls. The more surface area they cover, the more nutrients can pass through.

Maximizing Function

To maximize function in the large intestine, Grand Digest uses Diamond V yeast and a fungi called aspergillus oryzae to boost the breakdown of more fibrous feed and to stabilize the PH, both of which reduce the risk of colic and significantly improve the function of the immune system. Competitors’ digestive products use live yeast, also known as probiotics or direct-fed microbials, Hartog says. “In talking with a lot of people with letters behind their names during the formulation of Grand Digest, we learned that live yeast is susceptible to mass genocide when exposed to heat or oxygen.” Best-case scenario, these products can be stored in a cool place, but feedings are virtually impossible without exposing the substance to oxygen, thus killing the live yeast.

Grand Meadows opted to use fully fermented, shelf-stable yeast from Diamond V Mills, a company they’ve counted on for ingredients for many years. This yeast is comprised of the entire culture and developed without destroying viable yeast, B vitamins and fermented products that provide a rich and complete source of nutrients to increase beneficial intestinal bacterial. The fact that it has been stabilized ensures viability during storage. When it gets into the large intestine, the yeast boosts the properties of the living microbial population in the large intestine.

Hartog is excited about the fungi that go to work during this phase of digestion. “A piece of hay typically arrives in the cecum undigested,” he details. “All these yeast cells jump onto it, but it’s slippery and hard to attach to. So the fungi’s purpose is to create wound sites on the hay fibers, which make it easier for bacteria to attach themselves and begin their breakdown work. The fungi and the Diamond V yeast have helped us produce a product that I believe will be infinitely more effective in what it’s trying to accomplish in the large intestine.”

Grand Meadows has already received what Hartog describes as phenomenal response from horse owners using Grand Digest. The company’s reputation and longevity in the supplement market give it an edge in introducing this new line. Grand Meadows was one of the first companies to join the National Animal Supplement Council and Hartog is an active board of directors member for this industry association that promotes truth in advertising and the use of top quality ingredients.

For more information on Grand Meadows’ Grand Digest, call 714-628-1690 or visit