Now that the advantages of fat are accepted almost universally by horsemen, scientists are delving deeper into how certain fats help horses. Researchers have focused their attention on two distinct families of fatty acids: the omega-3 family and the omega-6 family. The omega-3 family stems from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), and the omega-6 family originates from linoleic acid (LA). ALA and LA are considered “essential fatty acids” because they are instrumental in the life cycle, yet they cannot be manufactured in the body and must be obtained from dietary sources. Significant members of the omega-3 family are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids must be balanced within the body in order for both to be effective. However, the traditional equine diet tends to provide a skewed ratio of these compounds. Adding omega-3s to the diet from EPA and DHA has benefits that include anti-inflammatory effects, reproductive benefits, immune and bone benefits. The richest source of omega-3 is a marine-derived source as this boasts the most favorable omega-3 to omega-6 ratio and includes the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA.
Which Solution Is Right for Your Horse?
EO-3™Concentrated direct source of DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids. EO-3 is a rich source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA in a palatable liquid form. EO-3 can be fed to all classes of horses including foals, breeding stock, and performance horses to improve the critical ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the diet.