Dietary supplementation of Vitamin E has become a topic of great interest in equine nutrition just as it has in human nutrition.
Vitamin E is widely recognized as an important antioxidant for the horse. Antioxidants are important to help prevent cellular damage in the equine athlete, the breeding animal, in senior horses, and in growing horses. Because vitamin E is not readily available to horses stalled regularly, horses fed hay as the bulk of their forage, or on pasture when grass is scarce or dormant, supplementation may be necessary for these horses as well. Many commercial feeds list Vitamin E as an added ingredient, but levels are low, poorly absorbed synthetic forms are used, and feed rates are often quite low, so the horse does not receive the recommended levels on a daily basis without supplementation.
Additionally, horses with certain neuromuscular conditions such as Wobblers Syndrome, Azoturia (tying up), EPM and many neuromuscular injuries may benefit from increased supplementation of Vitamin E at 5,000-10,000 IU per day. Broodmares supplemented with high levels of Vitamin E have demonstrated increased passive transfer of antibodies to their foals, with correspondingly higher IgG levels in the foals. Foals are stronger and healthier. These mares also rebreed more successfully than their non-supplemented counterparts. Breeding stallions have better fertility and require fewer services per conception.
In the equine athlete, daily supplementation of Vitamin E helps prevent cellular damage that can result in muscle stiffness and soreness, reducing the recovery time between events. Horses under stress and those with immune system dysfunction as evidenced by allergies (which may result in “heaves” or COPD) , skin conditions, hives, etc. may also benefit from supplemental E at 5,000-10,000 IU per day.
Deficiency of Vitamin E has also been linked to two very important neuromuscular diseases in the horse, Equine Degenerative Myeloencephalopathy (EDM) and Equine Motor Neuron Disease (similar to Lou Gehrig’s Disease). It is critical to ensure that the horse is receiving an adequate intake of absorbable Vitamin E to help prevent these diseases.
Super E provides 80,000 IU of Vitamin E per pound, or 5000 IU per ounce. It is one of the most highly fortified and economical sources available. Fed at 1-2 ounces per day* as a daily booster supplement with a complete vitamin mineral such as Equishine, it will supply the necessary levels of this valuable antioxidant to keep your horse healthy, productive, and sound for many years. In horses with very high requirements, it may be beneficial to feed in conjunction with a supplemental fat source, such as stabilized Rice Bran as this may improve absorption.
*Higher levels of supplementation may be required for certain conditions- consult your veterinarian.