The horse in relation to most other animals has a proportionately small liver. The liver is an exceedingly important organ because it performs much of the raw material manufacturing, essential for the proper function of the body’s other organs. The liver monitors the absorbed products of digestion and many of these are withdrawn from the circulation and processed to form many different types of molecules required to ensure the constant state of repair or growth of the body. Also, the liver is essentially involved in providing, in an appropriate form, the material to fuel the biochemical processes of movement, exercise and life in general.

Because of its special blood supply system the liver is also ideally situated to constantly monitor potential invading organisms and chemicals and to fulfil this role the liver is an important part of the horse’s immune system, a fact that is often overlooked.

The two thousand or so metabolic functions of which the liver is capable and its importance as a part of the immune system, does not fully cover the functional importance of the liver. It is also the body’s most important site for detoxification of potentially dangerous compounds that have been digested or administered either intentionally or unintentionally. The liver is endowed with a “toxic waste” handling facility that converts these compounds either into fat soluble safe products that are excreted via another special liver system, the biliary production line, or are passed back into the blood stream as safe water soluble compounds that can be excreted via the kidneys in the urine.

Bile, which is produced by the liver, is a complex mixture of excretion products but also contains very important emulsifier compounds. The function of these ‘bile salts’ is to act as an essential part of the digestion and absorption process of carbohydrates, fats and fat soluble dietary ingredients such as Vitamins A, D, E and K. The horse has no gall bladder so it cannot store bile, which must be produced constantly to aid proper digestion and absorption of not only fat soluble dietry ingredients, but, by an associated complex inter-relationship, essential minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium.

The life span of the horse is generally longer than many animals so it is not surprising that occasionally his liver function is compromised. The liver is constantly assaulted with potentially hazardous chemicals, such as pasture contaminants, therapeutic chemicals such as wormers, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory substances etc.

Signs of poor liver function can be very varied and may appear very slowly as functional capacity becomes reduced or may be of very sudden onset when a massive liver by-pass of absorbed ‘toxic’ metabolites occurs – such syndromes as laminitis and photosensitisation are examples of this. The instances of a slower demonstration of lack of liver function may be reduced coat appearance, reluctance to shed coat, poor digestive function, looseness or frank diarrhoea or a general unthriftiness or lack of sparkle.

Indian Herbs have developed a unique herbal extract – ‘LIVOL’ – that can be mixed with horse feed. Livol is a proven tonic for liver function. Livol is an assembly of plants (herbal) extracts without chemical transformation. It is produced under the most stringent conditions of growth, harvesting and ‘fingerprinting’ of activity by advanced chromatographical techniques. Quality control is of the highest order and guarantees completely consistent quality and efficacy. The pharmacological and toxicological studies ensure a preparation that is safe as well as effective.

Recent scientific tests have shown that Livol also helps to improve pancreatic and duodenal enzyme production and enhances the other processes of digestion as well. It has also been observed that Livol helps to improve glycogenesis, glycogenolysis and glycolysis. The use of Livol not only ensures optimal liver function but also, because of its effect on bile secretion, optimises digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, fats and fat soluble nutrients as well as minerals and thereby aids the metabolic state of the horse.

Use of Livol is recommended for 20 days, twice a year, on all horses and ponies for optimum health and performance.