Thehorse.com - Full Article
By Clair Thunes, PhD
May 30, 2016
Q: I would like to see someone do a nutritional comparison between flax seed and chia seed supplementation in horses. Is one better than the other, is it a matter of preference, or do they offer the horse different benefits?
A. Chia and flax are typically added to equine diets as supplemental sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Both are rich in linolenic acid (ALA), which is a precursor to the longer chain fatty acids: ecosapentaenoic acid (or EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (or DHA). Flax or linseed meal, the end product after fat extraction, has long been used in livestock feeds as a protein source. But more recently interest has built around the whole flax seed due to its potential impact of inflammatory conditions. Equine research has shown potential benefits in improving short-term insulin sensitivity, as well as reducing sensitivity to biting fly allergy. Other benefits might exist in mediating a number of inflammatory conditions...
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