Vitamin E and its roles:
- Antioxidant, preventing peroxidation of cell membranes
- Helps maintain blood capillaries
- Good muscle tone and prevention of myopathy
- Supports immune response mechanisms
- Reinforces colostrum immunity
- Linked to performance through muscle tone
Vitamin E and its sources:
- Cereals and their by-products
- Oilseeds and oilseed cake
- Grass, hay and silage
- Other green crops
Although there are 8 different forms of vitamin E with varying properties. The most active isomer is alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E conservation depends essentially on the oxidation level of the surrounding lipids. That is why poly-unsaturated fatty acids (linseed oil, fish oil, …) must be adequately protected from oxidation. Alpha-Tocopheryl acetate is less affected by oxygen and fatty acids.
Depending on the age and physiological status of the horse and the amounts of fat or oil in the diet, the needs vary from 600 to 3000 IU of vitamin E per day, but in certain cases such as intensive exercising, muscular trouble, endurance effort these needs can double or triple, and reach 10000 IU/day.
The blood level of vitamin E is generally correlated with the amount in the feed but may be affected by the amount of fatty acids ingested.