Fish Oils Facts

Doing your research and knowing how plant-based oils support your horse’s health is important. Here we provide some education about fish oils.

It is important to know that all of the plant-based oils such as flax, soya, camelina, rice bran and so on, may be omega 3's however, they have to be converted in the body of the horse to be useable. Research shows this conversion process is very inefficient and only around 1% to 10% of the plant-based omega 3's are utilized.  This is why the use of fish oil has been so groundbreaking. Fish oil is made up of two specific fatty acids (DHA and EPA) that go straight to work when consumed. They do not have to be converted in the horse and you get more bang for your buck  because you can feed it in smaller amounts to achieve so much more. Plus, research has shown that the omega 3's from fish oil have some pretty powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body helping with a whole host of inflammatory issues. 

Moreover, the 6-3 ratio is a bit more of a contentious topic. There are so many viewpoints it's laughable. Some say the ratio should be balanced (less than 10:1), some say the omega 3's should be higher and the more you read the more confusing this information can be. The main point is that research has not definitively proven one way or another. A horse must have omega 6's in the diet to function, but they can also be pro-inflammatory, so you don't want to overdo them in the diet. To put that in perspective, all horses on pasture 24/7 are eating straight plant-based omegas and this doesn't seem to cause any problems, so saying a supplement is too high in omega 6's can be disingenuous.

In closing, feeding fish oils check several boxes in horse health support plus offers a great economical bonus for horse owners.