Vitamin E Antioxidant for Horses

KERx Nano-E vitamin E supplement for horses

Nano•E® by KERx Special Needs Nutrition is a powerful water-soluble liquid vitamin E antioxidant supplement for horses in a unique, rapidly bioavailable form. Vitamin E is an essential component of body-wide antioxidant defenses and plays a vital role in immune, cardiovascular, circulatory, neuromuscular, and reproductive functions. Vitamin E is recommended for horses without access to fresh green pasture, as well as those with neurological or neuromuscular disease.

Nano•E uses advanced nanotechnology to create a rapidly available and absorbed source of vitamin E that enables administration to be timed to provide peak antioxidant protection to performance horses.

The availability and necessity of vitamin E in equine diets is well established. When healthy horses are given frequent access to fresh green forage such as good-quality pasture, there is little need for supplementation of vitamin E. However, many horses today are managed without fresh forage in their diets. These horses can survive in such management systems, but they will likely not be consuming sufficient vitamin E for optimal health.

Vitamin E is first and foremost an antioxidant, an agent that keeps free radicals from forming and potentially weakening cells and tissues. In addition to its antioxidant responsibilities, vitamin E is vital to immune, cardiovascular, circulatory, neuromuscular, and reproductive functions. Therefore, supplementation with an effective vitamin E supplement is recommended for all horses that do not consume a significant quantity of green pasture.

Natural Vitamin E Is Preferred

Research has revealed that vitamin E varies in its potency, based on whether it is natural or synthetic. The chemical structures of synthetic and natural vitamin E differ. Natural vitamin E is recognized as d-alpha-tocopherol, and is made up of a single isomer. Synthetic vitamin E, termed dl-alpha tocopherol, contains a mixture of eight different isomers, four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. Of these eight, only one is molecularly equivalent to natural vitamin E. Sources of natural vitamin E, especially Nano•E, more effectively raise serum levels when compared to synthetic, as shown in Figure 1.

Nano-E vitamin E for horses research
Figure 1. Nano•E, a source of natural vitamin E, more effectively raises serum vitamin E levels when compared to synthetic vitamin E. Dose response equals multiple of 0 hr value which is represented as 1.

Alpha-tocopherol is the form of vitamin E that is most abundant in the body, and is therefore the most appropriate for use in supplementation.

To make alpha-tocopherol stable for use in most supplements, it must be chemically joined with an acid during manufacture, a process called esterification. The acid, in this case acetate, acts as a padlock or protective cap that shields alpha-tocopherol from the damages caused by exposure to oxidative forces. Without esterification, alpha-tocopherol can quickly denature, losing its antioxidant properties and rendering it ineffective.

Once ingested, esterified alpha-tocopherol is subjected to normal digestive enzymes. A certain group of enzymes called esterases are chemically capable of unlocking the padlock created through esterification. Once free, alpha-tocopherol is available for absorption with its antioxidant properties intact.

Why should I use Nano•E for my horse?

  • Vitamin E antioxidant supplement for all types of horses
  • Natural-source vitamin E proven more effective than synthetic vitamin E
  • Rapidly available so administration may be timed to provide peak antioxidant protection
  • Reproductive benefits for breeding stallions, and pregnant and lactating broodmares

Feeding Directions

Daily Use: give 4-8 mL (1000-2000 IU) per 500 kg horse by mouth or top-dress on feed.

Pre-Competition: give 12-20 mL (3000-5000 IU) per 500 kg horse 6-12 hours prior to competition or stressful event.

Guaranteed Analysis: 250 IU d-alpha-tocopherol per mL

Recommended for:

  • Race and performance horses in intense work
  • Horses recovering from illness or injury
  • Prior to or following stressful events such as weaning or travel
  • Horses with neurological or neuromuscular disease
  • Horses in confinement or those not receiving fresh green grass

Natural Vitamin E Is Preferred

Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E must be offered to horses in a way that maximizes absorption. Because it is not mixed with other ingredients, the vitamin E in Nano•E does not need to be protected by esterification, but it must become water-soluble or dispersible in liquid. This presents a challenge: As everyone knows, oil and water don’t mix.

Researchers developed a method by which fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed with great efficiency. Because of its oily nature, vitamin E is hydrophobic (water-shunning). To overcome this, researchers use proprietary technology to encapsulate the vitamin E in nanoparticles and then surround each nanoparticle with a hydrophilic (water-loving) outer layer. The hydrophilic outer layer, as illustrated in Figure 2, allows the nanoparticles to be rapidly and evenly released in water-based environments such as the gastrointestinal tract. The differences in bioavailability among vitamin E sources are shown in Figure 3.

The greatest benefit of this unique delivery system is an increase in the bioavailability of vitamin E. The more vitamin E that is absorbed into the bloodstream, the more available it is for use as a body-wide antioxidant essential for tissue repair and for its imperative roles in various body systems.

Nano-E vitamin E supplement for horses
Figure 2. Each water-soluble vitamin E nanoparticle in Nano•E is encapsulated or surrounded by liposomes, which allows the nanoparticle to mix evenly throughout a water-based environment such as the gastrointestinal tract.
Technical Review Article
Nano-E vitamin E for horses dosing
Figure 3. Differences in relative bioavailability of various vitamin E sources. Nano•E is more bioavailable than other common sources of vitamin E. Synthetic bioavailability equals 1.

Research Confirms Efficacy

Controlled studies at Kentucky Equine Research indicate that Nano•E is superior to synthetic and other natural vitamin E sources.

Megan Jones
Like most performance horses, my horses are not afforded the luxury of lush paddocks all day every day. To get their much-needed natural vitamin E requirements for muscle and tissue repair, Nano•E is part of my horses’ diets. It helps them recover from the day’s work. Even young horses need help with tissue repair as they are completely unfit when they are just broken in and they find even the smallest workload difficult.
Megan Jones, Olympic Medalist

Nano•E is available for online purchase directly from KER in the United States and Australia. It is also available via a global network of distributors.

Contact KER for distribution information.

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