Omega-3 Articles

WHY FLAX IS LESS EFFICIENT THAN FISH OIL, EVEN FOR HORSES

Wellpride’s omega-3 is largely EPA and DHA. On the other hand, all of flax oil’s omega-3 is of the ALA variety. ALA omega-3 is not useable in that form. The body will attempt to convert the ALA into usable EPA and DHA, but will only succeed with 2 to 5% of it. In the end, ounce-for-ounce, Wellpride is 12 to 32 times more powerful than flax oil in aiding joints, brain, fertility and so on. Replace “flax oil” with “ground flax” in that equation, and you’ll add another factor of 5x… one ounce of fish oil is 63 to 158 times more powerful than one ounce of ground flax.

There is a caveat here, however. These inefficiency figures use human data, and no one yet knows, definitively, what the inefficiency rates are for horses. Do they convert less? More? Similar?

A macro analysis of omega-3 studies across all species - including carnivores, herbivores and omnivores – provides the likely answer of “similar.” You see, every living being studied so far has shown a comparable need for, and use of, omega-3 in their diet. Even fish have to eat omega-3 to have omega-3 in their system. When you consider the pool of studies that used an effective amount of supplemental fish oil – defined as 2 grams or more of EPA/DHA in humans, weight-adjusted for other animals – the results have been similar.

Based on this and on many anecdotal reports, we believe that horses are also highly inefficient in their transformation of ALA into EPA then DHA, with the best efficiency in younger horses on high forage / minimal grain diets with light workloads. Aged horses, performance horses, IR horses, or those fed large grain diets will all benefit far more from quality fish oil than from flax supplementation.

Bottom line: If you want to be sure your horse is getting the EPA and DHA ready-made to positively affect inflammation levels, joint health, brain function, breathing, fertility and so much more, there is only one choice: fish oil. And the best brand to choose? Naturally, that’s Wellpride Fish Oil for Horses.