The benefits of Omega 3 to horses

The possibilities to learn more about the benefits of Omega 3 to horses are endless. There are ongoing studies being conducted world wide, England, Switzerland, Australia, Russia, Canada, Belgium, Italy, USA, and Sweden to name a few, on the benefits of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to humans, but also to horses. The following are some interesting facts that we hope you enjoy reading and learning about.

The data shows consistent and reproducible beneficial effects for man and animals of omega-3 fatty acids on bone metabolism, bone/joint diseases, gene expression, immuno-competence and disease resistance. Omega 3 fatty acids have a central role in the maintenance of a healthy body and in the management and prevention of many ‘modern’ disease states.

As herbivores and nomadic grazers, horses are naturally adapted to a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (ALA) compared to omega-6 fatty acids (LA). The little bit of fat found in forages, particularly fresh pasture, is naturally high in ALA (omega-3) whereas oils from grains and seeds tend to be higher in LA (omega-6).

Diets that include supplemental fat along with grain concentrates may have a skewed ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and may not be as beneficial as a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to provide numerous benefits to horses, pets, and humans including:

  • Improved skin and hair coat quality
  • Decreased joint pain in arthritic individuals
  • Improved bone formation
  • Reproductive benefits
  • Prevention of gastric ulcers
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Alleviate allergic hyperactivity
  • Support horses in heavy work
  • Reduce exercise-induced bronchiole constriction

    In a presentation at the Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium, Dr. Kyle Newman indicated supplementing horses with omega-3 fatty acids could have a positive effect on their health and endurance during exercise. Among the health benefits were lower blood pressure, inhibition of the cytokines involved in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, improved semen quality in stallions, and positive effects on fetal development.
    ~Kentucky Equine Research

    Importantly for the racing thoroughbred, Omega 3 oils have been shown to have an important role in the structure and formation of the wall of the red blood cells – conferring upon them increased suppleness and flexibility. This red cell flexibility is advantageous during exercise – the more flexible the red blood cells
    the more easily and efficiently they pass through the narrow capillaries in the lungs and muscles, making oxygen uptake and delivery and waste product removal, more efficient. Human athletes on Omega 3 supplemented diets, report improved performance times and less delayed muscle soreness and this is attributed to better oxygen delivery, higher levels of anti-oxidants and the protective effect omega 3 oils have against inflammation.

    Omega 3 deficiency is also involved in hoof problems such as shelly feet and in the incidence of allergic skin conditions. Other common deficiencies causing poor hoof quality include zinc, methionine and biotin, but if the problem is related to insufficient omega-3 oils in the diet, supplementation is necessary. Feeding Omega 3 oils for 6 weeks to horses with Queensland itch led to a reduction in the severity of the itch and inflammation. Analysis of the hair found a concurrent decrease in the amount of omega 6 fatty acids in the hair of horses receiving the supplement and no negative side-effects occurred.

    There are also benefits for horses at stud – after 6 weeks on an Omega 3 supplement, mares milk conferred increased immunity and resistance to infection. For the breeding stallion, a study presented at the Convention of the American Association of Equine Practitioners in 2003 showed that raising the intake of specific Omega 3 fatty acids improved the motion characteristics of cooled-stored and frozen-thawed semen. Spermatazoa from all species are high in Omega 3 fatty acids, in particular the omega 3 called docosahexanoic acid (DHA). A high ratio of DHA to omega 6 fatty acids results in enhanced fertility, whereas the reverse results in diminished fertility. Because animals are unable to synthesize omega 3 fatty acids, they must acquire them from the diet.
    Unfortunately, most proprietary horse feeds are very high in precursors for omega-6 fatty acids, whereas the precursors for omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA, are very low.

    Claimed Benefits of Omega 3 oils

    • Helps your horse’s joints and connective tissues to heal and recover from the stress of exercise – this improves the recovery rate after training and competition.
    • Promotes a healthy, glossy coat.
    • Stronger and faster growing feet useful for horses and ponies prone to laminitis and those with slow growing feet or with feet that are difficult to keep shoes on.
    • Boosts the horse’s immune system.
    • Good for respiratory system.
    • Can help calm the temperament of excitable horses.
    • Maintains supple joints.
    • Assists the correct development of the equine nervous system, brain, muscles and skeleton
    • Repairs & maintains cellular walls.
    • Anti-inflammatory – can act like “Bute.”
    • Aids wound healing.
    • Supports a healthy heart and blood circulation.
    • Has anti-allergic properties.
    • Encourages a strong metabolism.
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      December 08, 2013

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      • Emerge

        Emerge Supplements Inc (ESI) is focused on bringing you the highest quality all natural supplements at affordable prices and with outstanding customer service. ESI’s horse formula, Emerge EQ, will give your horse improved coat, body condition and performance by providing a essential Omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) as well as antioxidant Vitamin E. [learn more...]

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        • "My 25 yr old QH gelding was diagnosed with Navicular and Ringbone about 4 or 5 years ago. His feet were also in terrible shape. He had horizontal cracks that neither my vet or farrier had ever seen before. We did blood work to rule out any abnormalities and that came back fine. Every time the farrier and vet saw his feet, they just scratched their heads and we would try something new. We put shoes on him to try and keep his feet together. He was lame all the time and sometimes he was dead lame. I started him on EmergeEQ earlier this year and his feet are finally looking more normal; no cracks at all. We took his shoes off in January and he wears soft ride boots which are wonderful but if it wasn't for EmergeEQ, I don't think he would be where he is today. My farrier is amazed and I'm oh so very happy. He still can't be ridden but he doesn't limp anymore and he is so much happier. He's back to his old playful, mischievous self. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful product!"
          ~Faith Kandler

          Omega 3 with Navicular and RingboneOmega 3 with Navicular and Ringbone

        • "I had been noticing intermittent swelling in my dressage horse's legs after hard rides. I had her on a very high quality grain, good hay and turnout for 3-6 hours every day. I did quite a bit of research and talked to my vet, who recommended the balanced Omega 3:6 ratio in my horses' diet to reduce inflammation. I found Emerge Supplements and spoke with Tabitha about the nutrients and benefits of the supplement oil. She was very helpful and accommodating and answered all of my questions right away. I immediately knew that I was dealing with a world-class company when I saw some of the other user reviews and pictures. I have had my mare on Emerge Supplements now for about 6 months and have not noticed ANY swelling in her legs since she's been on Emerge EQ! NONE! I also get the added benefit of a a horse with a shinier coat and healthier hooves and I can only credit Emerge EQ with the turnaround! Also, given the recent research that suggests that oil supplementation may also help alleviate ulcers and possibly colic in horses, this supplement gives me peace of mind that I'm doing the very best I can to support a healthy horse and provide her with everything she needs to perform at the demanding sport of dressage!"
          ~ Jessica Marie

          Proper NutritionProper Nutrition

        • "So i can't seem to post these pictures together but this is how amazing this product is!! This is my 5 yr old 1/2 arab gelding. Picture taken april/may of this year only on hay and pellet ration...

          Laurie before

          Same horse pretty much same pose....taken in july only been on supplement a few weeks/month ish.... WOW is all i can say!!"

          Laurie after

          It’s the supplementIt’s the supplement

        • "Using this omega 3 oil instead of omega 6 oils has made a big difference in my horses. I have been able to reduce the amount of grain that they get, they move more freely with more flow and there hair coats are amazing. I live in PA and mine are still going out at night and I have yet to have a coat blow up on me. They also love love love the taste of EmergeEQ."
          ~ Christina Miller

          Omega 3 oilsOmega 3 oils

        • "This is my all time favorite supplement!! I have my horses and dog both on it with amazing results! My 15yr ild gelding was starting to get a bit stiff and even started to move like an old man... now after about 6months of 2pumps a day he not only has an amazing coat but also moves like he did when he was 5!!"
          ~ Jessica Alt

          All time favorite product ~ Omega 3All time favorite product ~ Omega 3

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      • Did You Know?

        Not all fats (or fatty acids) are created equal--and positive health benefits are not associated with each kind of fat--it is important to understand the differences between saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. By altering the ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet, you can potentially confer beneficial health effects to the horse.

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