Thehorse.com - Full Article
by: Kentucky Equine Research Inc.
December 02 2009, Article # 15382
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for horses are believed to be numerous: decreased inflammation in various tissues, increased immune response, maintenance of healthy membranes, and an upsurge in sperm production, to name just a few.
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been fed to horses for decades, primarily to improve coat condition of sales or show horses. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil are rich sources of the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is thought to convert to the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
For many years, the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA was believed to be efficient. Now, however, a summary of omega-3 research by the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) has questioned the ability of ALA to be changed in the body.