What is the best oil to feed?

by Jane van Lennep, B.Sc., M.Sc., B.H.S.I.(S.M.Cert.) N.P.S.D., Director of Nutrition at Simple System Horse Feeds

Oils have many uses: many body systems are reliant on them and they are an essential component of cell membranes. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and rely on oils for their transportation. Fats and oils provide over twice the energy, or calories, as soluble carbohydrate (sugar and starch) but they vary in their composition.  Some fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential to the horse’s daily diet as it cannot make enough of them itself.

Omega 3 is the anti-inflammatory omega, whereas omega 6 is pro-inflammatory. Horses like us, need more omega 3 than 6 and if there is too much omega 6 it will inhibit the effect of the omega 3, so the balance is important. Omega 3 has very many effects: it helps stabilise blood sugar, can help protect against diabetes, heart disease, food cravings and even depression. In horses, it is especially useful in helping recovery from strenuous work and in helping heal all those inevitable tweaks and bangs. All oils are not the same as they all have different levels of omega 3 and 6. Too much Omega 6 is potentially harmful.

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Chart adapted from Endurance GB Members Handbook 2008 pp18-19.

Linseed has been used successfully by generations of horse keepers, who knew how well their horses did on it and how well they looked.

Simple System Instant Linseed is a convenient and easy way to feed linseed. It provides its oil without the potentially damaging effects of refining with heat, pressure and chemical solvents.  It is around 40% oil, ready cooked and ready to feed, with most of the oil still within the endosperm cells of the seeds.  The rest of the seed provides a whole host of nutrients, minerals and trace elements, such as protein, fibre (including 18% soluble fibre) and phosphorous.

For more information on feeding Linseed, call our Feed Line on 01728 604 008 or email info@simplesystem.co.uk.

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