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. Moreover if your horse is identified with a vitamin E deficiency it can be at risk for several health conditions. Some of these include equine motor neuron disease, vitamin E deficient myopathy, equine neuroaxonal dystrophy/equine degenerative myeloencephalopathy, and general muscle soreness and poor performance.
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.
With horses having less access to grazing for different reasons, it is important to understand if a deficiency is evident and how you will manage and maintain their health moving forward.
Understanding the need to supplement horses with vitamin E is primarily dependent on whether they live out and graze lush pastures filled 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.