The Proven Benefits of Essential Fatty Acids / Omegas for Horses
Equine Omega Complete is a Complete Essential Fatty Acid (Omega) Supplement
Reduced Tissue & Joint Inflammation
Prolonged exposure to inflammation perpetuates the cycle of cartilage destruction within the joint and can lead to arthritic conditions. Deterioration of cartilage is often accompanied by changes in the bone and soft tissue. Once inside the body, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids have hormone-like properties. With the addition of omega-3 fatty acids to the diet, particularly the long chain fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), overall production of pro-inflammatory molecules decreases while the production of anti-inflammatory molecules increases. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may reduce overall inflammatory status, helping support healthy joint function. Equine Omega Complete may help reduce inflammation associated with training and exercise.
A Healthy Digestive System
Adding fat to the diet allows for smaller meal size without reducing the amount of calories. This lowers the risk of digestive disorders by allowing the concentrate portion of the meal to be fully digested before it passes into the hind gut. Improperly or partially digested concentrates can ferment in the hind gut, disturbing the delicately balanced population of bacteria. Feeding fat is also thought to help reduce the incidence and severity of gastric ulcers. Supplementation of the omega-6 fatty acids, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid promote the production of mucus, which acts to protect the gastric lining from corrosive acid.
Healthy Skin & Hair Coat
Fundamental nutrients support normal skin and coat development and function. An essential fatty acid deficiency may cause dry coat, scaly skin or hair loss. Essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids are building blocks that promote the health of skin and hair cells. With the addition of fat to the diet there may be a greater amount of oil secreted from glands in the skin, yielding higher oil content in the hair and providing a healthy looking shine. Omega 3 fatty acids also exhibit their anti-inflammatory properties in skin cells as well. Supplemental omega 3 fatty acids have also been shown to reduce the skin irritation in horses caused by Culicodes, or sweet itch, and other skin allergies.
Strong Healthy Hooves
Fatty acids play a role in hoof health by protecting the outside of the hoof from moisture damage. Hooves are meant to be dry. Present in correct amounts, fatty acids work to seal moisture into the deeper hoof structures and seal out water. In addition, horses supplemented with Equine Omega Complete may show increased hoof growth, sole thickness and overall better general health of the hoof.
A Healthy Respiratory System
Constantly exposed to allergens like dust, mold, pollen and air pollution, the horse’s sensitive respiratory system benefits from low-dust, omega-3 fatty acid oil supplementation. Omega-3 fatty acids support lung function in horses that suffer from exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. Omega 3’s are crucial players that determine the flexibility of cell walls and the flexibility of red blood cells is particularly important during exercise. Increased elasticity of red blood cells allows for easier passage through narrow blood vessels in the lungs, ensuring adequate delivery of oxygen.
In addition, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E have shown to reduce the symptoms of heaves and respiratory diseases caused by allergies. Once incorporated into the cell wall, omega 3 fatty acids are metabolized into anti-inflammatory compounds. This helps to lessen the inflammatory response to an allergen or irritant present in the lungs. The addition of oil containing omega 3s to a grain ration also reduces the dust created during feeding time. Vitamin E supplementation has been shown to reduce symptoms of emphysema and allergy-induced asthma in people. Therefore the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of vitamin E could lessen the effect of respiratory conditions such as heaves in horses.
Allergies in Horses
Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E also benefit horses suffering from symptoms of allergies affecting other part of the body, including the skin. Consuming a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids can lessen a horse’s ability to respond to an allergen. In addition to the anti-inflammatory effect of the long chain fatty acids (DHA and EPA), research shows the shorter omega 3, ALA (alpha linolenic acid) also provides a reduction of allergy symptoms. Horses known for being hypersensitive to Culicoides, or sweet itch, had a reduced allergic response after consuming a diet rich in ALA. Vitamin E may also reduce the inflammation during an allergic response and can help improve tissue repair and healing.
Increased Blood & Oxygen Flow
Omega-3 fatty acids increase the flexibility of red blood cell membranes. Flexible cell membranes may aid in efficiency of blood flow and delivery of oxygen during a hard work out. When horses exercise, heart rate and the density of the cells increase and blood becomes more viscous (thicker), making the flexibility of red blood cells that much more vital for proper oxygen delivery.
Proper Cell Development & Function
Every cell in the body is surrounded by fat. Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids compete for incorporation into the cell membrane. When greater quantities of omega-3 fatty acids are present in the diet, they are integrated into the membrane at the expense of omega-6 fatty acids. As part of the cell membrane, omega-3 fatty acids increase fluidity, flexibility, permeability and the activity of enzymes that bind to the membrane. Omega-3 fatty acids have a key function in the formation, growth and regeneration of cells and in the transmission of cell signals throughout life.
Increased Caloric Density
Fat has 2.25 times the energy by weight as carbohydrate. Feeding fat provides a means to eliminate a portion of the carbohydrate from the diet as a source of calories. Fat is a great energy source for horses that does not make them hot or overwhelm their system.
An Alternative Energy Source
Fat serves as an alternative energy source to calories normally provided by nonstructural carbohydrate. Horses with nutritional diseases, such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome or insulin resistance may still need a fuel source beyond what their hay provides. Offering fat as an alternative calorie source reduces the digestive and metabolic risks that are often correlated with diets high in starch and sugar.
Reduced Stress Anxiety & Depression
Some research proposes a calmer temperament in horses supplemented with dietary fat. Traditional equine diets are lower in fat and higher in non-structural carbohydrates and neutral detergent fiber. Supplementation with fat in a healthy oil form can positively modify behavior when used to replace some of the nonstructural carbohydrates in the diet.
Enhanced Athletic Performance
The accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle leads to muscle fatigue and soreness.
Horses utilizing fat as an energy source for long-term work often show increased stamina and tend to recover faster after work. While lactic acid accumulation cannot be completely prevented, supplementation with fat can delay the process, increasing the length of time a horse can work. Also, during hard workouts, glycogen stores in the muscle and liver are utilized. Supplemented fat can be used as an alternative, sustainable energy source, saving stored glycogen.
A Strong Immune System
Omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory and are beneficial during infection and sickness. When these processes get carried away, they can actually become more harmful than helpful. The diet must therefore provide a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in order to keep these processes in check.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which can reduce cell damage from free radicals produced during normal metabolism, exercise, and disease. Vitamin E can also help repair tissue that has already been damaged by oxidative stress and disease.
A Healthy Reproductive System
Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids supports reproductive function in both stallions and mares. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to the diet of breeding stallions can increase daily sperm output, the percentage of morphologically normal sperm and sperm motility. In breeding mares, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may influence fertility and the ability of the mare to maintain pregnancy. Mares fed omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy can pass the omega 3s onto the fetus, as well incorporate them into the milk when nursing a foal.
Decreased Free Radical Exposure
Antioxidants, including many vitamins and minerals, act to protect your horse from reactive oxygen species, or free radicals. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that works to protect the integrity of the cell membrane by trapping reactive oxygen species during states of oxidative stress. Muscle, nerve and immune systems also rely on antioxidants like vitamin E in order to function properly. Fatty acids, particularly unsaturated fatty acids, are prone to oxidation. Addition of vitamin E to unsaturated fatty acid supplements reduces the risk of rancidity and increases shelf life, while supplying beneficial amounts of vitamin E to the horse consuming the supplement. Vitamin E does not appear to be toxic to horses even at relatively high intakes.
Thermal Load Regulation
In order to regulate and maintain normal body temperature, the horse must dissipate heat made during the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Fat has a lower thermal load than other calorie sources. Feeding fat may help reduce the thermal load of a working horse. This may be especially helpful for horses that live and work in hotter climates.
In addition, to the antioxidants inherently found in Equine Omega Complete, we add additional natural vitamin E to further enhance your horse’s protection from these harmful free radicals.
Join the thousands of satisfied customers.
“I tried one horse first and saw a definite change in her appetite and weight gain after one month. So I decided to try the whole barn. I am almost four weeks into it and I am very pleased. Their hair looks great, they are eating well, energy level has actually decreased and I am not having any of the muscle soreness like we’ve had in the past. I’m sold!” Jeff Allen | Sweet Tomorrow Farm