Oxidant Toxins

Nitrate is accumulated in a variety of plants (corn, sorghum family, pigweed, etc.) when grown on nitrogen-rich soils (fertilized, bedding ground, manure piles). Nitrate can be converted to nitrite in an animal's body and results in darkened red blood cells that cannot carry oxygen well. Eventually, this oxidative onslaught will cause red cell destruction, anemia, and sometimes death.

Some intrinsic toxins also act through oxidation. For example, compounds found in maple leaves (not just red maple!) can have effects on horses similar to those caused by nitrates, and at sufficiently high levels (such as found in oak buds as an exclusive diet), oxidants such as pyrogallol formed from gallic acid can injure cattle.

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