Omegas for joint health
Much research has been carried out over the years to measure the potential benefits of Omega 3 supplementation for horses.
One interesting project looked at the beneficial effect of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for horses with arthritis.
The study ‘Markers of inflammation in arthritic horses fed omega-3 fatty acids’ was performed at Texas A&M University.
Manhart, D.R., B.D. Scott, P.G. Gibbs, J.A. Coverdale, E.M. Miller, C.M. Honnas, and D.M. Hood. 2009. Professional Animal Scientist 25:155-160.
In brief, The experiment measured the effect of feeding supplemental omega-3 fatty acids on indicators of joint inflammation in plasma and synovial fluid in horses that had been previously diagnosed with osteoarthritis.
Sixteen mature horses with arthritic knee, fetlock, hock, or stifle joints were divided into two groups, one of which was a control. In the other group, horses were supplemented with two pelleted omega-3 sources for 90 days. Samples of blood and synovial fluid were collected periodically during the trial period. Supplemented horses showed lower levels of joint inflammation indicators (white blood cells in synovial fluid and fibrinogen and prostaglandin E2 in plasma) than the control group.
Researchers concluded that “The inclusion of omega-3s has the potential to benefit geriatric horses with osteoarthritis, as well as performance horses subjected to high-impact and high stress training, thus potentially improving quality of life and athletic performance.”