In this first instalment of our three-part series “Mare Prepare, What Does the Research say?” we are exploring the research behind the use of Marine Derived Oil. Mare Prepare is the latest product to join the Bluegrass Stud Range. The unique formulation of this product offers an array of benefits for both broodmares and stallions. As stated by Joe Pagan Ph. D., & founder of Kentucky Equine Research (KER), “research separates the innovator form the imitator.”
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Mare Prepare uniquely contains Marine Derived Oil, but what makes Marine Derived Oil so unique? The advantages of fat within our horse’s diets is accepted almost universally by horse owners, however scientists are delving deeper into how certain fats help horses. Researchers have focused their attention on two distinct families of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA): 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). Marine-derived oils are rich in the longer chain omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), while ALA, can be found in plant sources such as flax, soybean, and canola. 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.
“Too many omega-6s and not enough omega-3s can result in excessive inflammation in the body. Therefore, having adequate amounts of omega-3s in the diet to moderate the pro-inflammatory response of the omega-6s is desirable,” explains Kathleen Crandell Ph.D., equine nutritionist at Kentucky Equine Research (KER). The ratio of omega 3-6 in marine derived oil is favourable as it contains high levels of omega-3’s and lower levels of omega-6’s.
Reproductive advantages of omega-3 fatty acids are abundant, studies have shown supplementation of pregnant mares with DHA and EPA results in better endometrial scores, which are indicators of uterine health, when compared with un-supplemented mares. The expression of certain genes & hormone concentrations important in the development of the embryo in pregnant mare was significantly different between supplemented and un-supplemented mares.
DHA & EPA also confers benefits to the developing foetus since the placenta may be responsible for providing DHA and EPA to the foetal nervous system. Mares effectively incorporate these fatty acids into their milk, so supplementation of the mare provides for the suckling foal. Broodmares on diets high in omega-3 fatty acids produce richer colostrum, in comparison to un-supplemented mares. Studies have shown that foals of supplemented mares seemed to have a stronger immune system than foals suckling mares not fed omega-3 fatty acids. Other findings suggest that mares with a history of abortion may benefit from nutritional support with omega-3 fatty acids.
Stallions supplemented with EPA and DHA showed a significant boost in the concentration & number of normally shaped sperm and a rise in the concentration of spermatozoa in the semen. Positive effects on sperm viability and motility have also been demonstrated.
Aside from the reproductive benefits Marine Derived Oil also boosts overall health, immune function, improves skin health, whilst also supporting respiratory & joint issues.
In the past Marine oils were typically not as palatable as those that provide more generous amounts of omega-6 fatty acids such as vegetable oils, however with advances in processing technology and flavourings, our trial studies showed that when Mare Prepare is introduced correctly over a 14–21-day period there are no palatability issues.
Mare Prepare is now available at your local Bluegrass stockist! For further information on Mare Prepare or any other products, visit our product page or contact the Bluegrass Horse Feed expert nutritional helpline - 0044 28 3754 8276 or firstname.lastname@example.org