The Fatty Acid Imbalance in Modern Horses and What to Do About It
A research article dating back to 1968 detailed studies that pointed out even then, that healthy range-fed cattle had from two to six times more beneficial omega-3 EPA/DHA in tissue samples than animals fed with “modern” manufactured feeds. Since then, numerous published reports continue to document the same findings.
Big deal? Yes. Omega-3 EPA/DHA has been shown to be a crucial contributor to a proper fatty acid balance. Like cattle and humans, horses also require a substantial quantity of omega-3 in their diet. Any deficiency will most likely increase the risk of chronic inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of respiratory, cardiovascular, muscular, nerve or skin disorders, just as in humans.
Wellpride conducted its own clinical trials beginning in Fall 2003. The services of the nation’s leading omega-3 laboratory were commissioned to test a series of blood samples taken from ten racing horses participating in the study. Upon initial analysis of pre-treatment samples, Professor William Harris of the Saint Luke Lipid Research Center at the University of Missouri said, “These horses have hardly any omega-3 at all. (Instead) they are all saturated with negative omega-6.”
Does Fish Oil for Horses Make Sense?
Fish oil has never been a part of a horse’s natural diet. So why should you start giving your horse fish oil? The answer is simple. The workhorses of the omega-3 family are EPA and DHA fatty acids. If a horse feeds on high quality grass, it is able to generate small amounts of EPA/DHA. But this is a slow and often incomplete process. Omega-3 fish oil with natural EPA/DHA is the only food other than breast milk that contains these vital, cell membrane-building substances in a form that is easily assimilated by horses, dogs, cat and many other mammals.
This means that supplementing your horse’s diet with omega-3 from fish oil allows you to take advantage of a very effective short cut to putting a damper on the inflammation response.
In the aforementioned clinical trials, following several weeks of supplementing feed with Wellpride, all the horses in the trials showed significant increases in omega-3 levels and improvements in omega-3 balances. At the same time, a noticeably healthy change was noted in the coat and general wellbeing of each horse.
The point to be made is that the food industry has created fatty acid imbalances through the overuse of less expensive fatty acids and partially hydrogenated oils in manufactured food and feeds that can be harmful to both horses and humans. Some horse owners actually compound the negative effects by adding corn oil to the horse’s diet, thinking that it offers a beneficial source of energy.
At this time, horse owners are forced to rely on these less than perfect feeds. You will therefore need to provide your horse with an additional source of omega-3 with EPA/DHA to counteract the poor fatty oil balance. By using Wellpride, you are assured that your horse is getting the needed amounts of the finest quality EPA/DHA available.
A Word About Flaxseed
Flaxseed oil contains small amounts of oil related to the omega-3 family but lacks EPA/DHA. There is scientific disagreement about how much of the 3 to 4% of omega oil derived from flaxseed can actually be assimilated and utilized by horses. There is general agreement, however, that EPA/DHA is highly effective in squelching inflammation in horses.
Wellpride is the first scientifically based omega-3 fish oil with natural EPA/DHA specifically formulated for horses. This high potency, clinically tested product is backed by research conducted by the world’s leading universities.