Omega-3 Fatty Acids Benefit Sport Horse Health

There is much debate surrounding the use of supplements in equine diets, but adding fish oil to a horse’s feed to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake can have a positive effect on exercising horses’ health and endurance, according to Kyle Newman, PhD,
Share
Favorite
Please login

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

There is much debate surrounding the use of supplements in equine diets, but adding fish oil to a horse's feed to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake can have a positive effect on exercising horses' health and endurance, according to Kyle Newman, PhD, of Venture Laboratories. Newman presented a study on the subject at the Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium for horse owners, held Sept. 22-24, 2010, in Lexington, Ky.

According to Newman, omega-3 fatty acids' effects on equine health include "increased vascular compliance, anti-hypertensive properties (lower blood pressure), inhibited production of cytokines (immunoregulatory proteins) involved in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, positive effects on fetal development, and improved semen quality."

During his presentation, Newman focused specifically on how the fatty acid fish oil might benefit sport horses. He cited a study conducted by C.I. O'Connor et al. in 2004 that involved 10 mature geldings on an eight-week exercise program. Four horses were supplemented with corn oil and six were supplemented with fish oil at 180 g/day (which delivered approximately 30g /day of omega-3 fatty acids). Researchers then measured and compared the heart rates, packed cell volume (the amount of red blood cells in the bloodstream), insulin concentrations, plasma glucose, and serum cholesterol concentrations of the two groups of horses

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

What signs does your horse show when he has gastric ulcers? Please check all that apply.
70 votes · 181 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!