Comparing the Effects of Two Equine Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements

Although the equine body incorporates these two supplements differently, each has its benefits.
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Omega-3 fatty acids have proven to be beneficial for horses with arthritis or other inflammatory conditions, but when it comes to choosing a supplement, which one is best? There are two sources of equine omega-3 fatty acid supplements–one derived from algae and fish oil and the other derived from plants. Recent research performed at Colorado State University (CSU) shows that although the equine body incorporates the two supplements differently, each has its benefits.

"(This) study, to the knowledge of the authors, is the first trial to evaluate the effects of supplemental dietary n-3 (omega) fatty acids on skeletal muscle fatty acid composition of horses," reported Tanja Hess, DVM, DSc, PhD, assistant professor of equine sciences at CSU, in the study.

Along with evaluating effects on skeletal muscle, Hess and colleagues also aimed to investigate how both a marine- and a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid supplement would affect plasma and red blood cells (RBC) in the horse.

The researchers acclimated three groups of seven horses to identical diets of alfalfa/bromegrass hay and rolled barley

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Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as a certified equine acupressure practitioner. She also hosts a blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse. Once an avid barrel racer, she now enjoys giving back to the horses who have given her so much.

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