Thursday, February 04, 2016

Add Vitamin E to High-Fat Horse Diets - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 2, 2016

Equine nutritionists routinely advise horse owners to dole out more fat when hard keepers or high-performance horses have trouble maintaining or adding body condition. Fat can bump up the energy density of a ration significantly and often provides just the right top-off to achieve weight gain.

During digestion, fat is broken down into its most basic structures, fatty acids. An increase in the amount of fat fed will therefore create an upsurge in circulating levels of fatty acids. Fatty acids are prone to oxidation, the byproducts of which can be harmful to cells. As a result, nutritionists typically recommended that an antioxidant be supplemented when a diet is high in fat, especially vegetable oil.

“Though research is somewhat limited on the impact of high-fat diets in antioxidant requirements of horses, studies in other mammals suggest advantages in offering vitamin E. Giving 1-1.5 IU of vitamin E per 1 ml of oil will help minimize oxidative damage,” said Kathleen Crandell, Ph.D., a nutritionist with Kentucky Equine Research (KER).

What does this mean, in practical terms?...

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