Vitamin E is a critically important nutrient for all horses because the vitamin is not synthesized by the horse’s body and therefore, it is an essential dietary nutrient to include in their diet to provide the proper health benefits in horses.
Understood to be the primary lipid-soluble antioxidant that maintains cell membrane integrity and enhances humoral- and cell-mediated immunity, Vitamin E benefits growing foals, pregnant mares, stallions, and equine athletes in a variety of ways. Muscular, respiratory, reproductive and immune are just a few areas in the horse's body in which the vitamin provides recovery, support or repair. Vitamin E has different structures, and the natural form is transported quickly and retained in tissues of the body promoting health benefits in a variety of horses.
Naturally, horses obtain sufficient amounts of vitamin E through grazing in green pastures, though this is not a realistic option for all horse owners and the opportunity to provide this through supplementation providing the horse with the sufficient intake.
Vitamin E supplements can consist of alpha-tocopherol, (a nutrient the body needs to remain healthy and work the way it should) because alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically available and well researched isoform of vitamin E. It consists of transporting enzymes, which allows it to pass through the liver by blood and go to other cells in the horse’s body, proving to be the most biologically available form in supplement development to ensure the health concerns, immune support and repair are given to the body where needed.
Including Vitamin E in your horse’s diet can assist with:
- Equine Protozoal Myelitis
- Equine Motor Neuron Disease (EMND),
- Vitamin E Deficient Myopathy (VEM),
- Nutritional Myodegeneration (NMD)
- White Muscle Disease
- Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (NAD)
- Equine Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy (EDM)
- Cell Damage Caused by Oxidative Stress
- Increased plasma alpha-tocopherol levels in horses during pre- and post-exercise
- Proper functioning of the reproductive, muscular, nervous, circulatory, and immune systems
Understanding the need to supplement horses with vitamin E is primarily dependent on whether they live out and graze lush pastures fulfilled in vitamin E or are stabled and fed diets low in vitamin E, are working athletes, a pregnant mare, growing foals or stallions. Providing your horse the nourishment required will assist with health ailments and overall horse healthcare.