31 Aug 2022

Vitamin E Benefits for Horses


Vitamin E is a type of fat-soluble vitamin that is important to reproduction, vision, and the health of the brain, blood, and skin. In the body, vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage. It also keeps the immune system strong and resilient against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Horses require vitamin E in their diet as they are unable to synthesize it endogenously within the body. Although this vitamin can be found in fresh, green grasses, many horses do not receive an adequate amount by grazing fresh grass alone. For this reason, many people choose to give their horse supplements that contain vitamin E.

How much vitamin E does a horse need?

While most people know the importance of vitamin E for horses, it is not always clear how much to give these animals. The amount of vitamin E that a horse needs depends on several factors, such as how often the horse exercises. During exercise, free radicals are produced which can negatively affect cell membranes. More vitamin E is needed to protect against these free radicals.

As a general rule of thumb, consider the following dosages:

  • At least 1,000 to 2,000 units per day for survival
  • 5,000 units a day when engaging in regular exercise
  • 5,000 units per day for broodmares
  • 5,000 units per day for older horses (20+) or horses with Cushing’s disease
  • 10,000 units per day when there are neurological problems, such as EPM or EDM

Benefits of vitamin E for horses

Giving your horse adequate amounts of vitamin E can help ensure that he has the appropriate antioxidant defense against free radicals. Getting enough vitamin E is especially important for equine athletes. Here’s a look at some of the other top benefits of vitamin E for horses:

  • Vitamin E helps reduce stiffness and ease muscle soreness in horses that are physically active. With enough vitamin E, these horses can sustain a high level of activity with a reduced risk of injury.
  • Giving your horse enough vitamin E can help muscles recover faster after exercise. Fast recovery is especially crucial for supporting athletic performance.
  • Horses that are given vitamin E are less likely to experience exertional rhabdomyolysis, or chronic typing up, a condition that causes painful muscle cramping in horses.
  • Vitamin E can help boost your horse’s immune response. This can help enhance the bacteria-killing capacity of immune system cells and ensure that horses quickly recover from illnesses.
  • Giving your horse vitamin E can help with insulin resistance. A daily intake of approximately 1,000 IU has been found to help with insulin sensitivity.
  • Horses that receive sufficient antioxidant defenses are known to have fewer health issues related to travel and competition caused by stress. Lowering stress levels can help ensure that your horse is ready to compete.
  • Adequate vitamin E can help minimize or prevent symptoms of neurological disorders, such as equine motor neuron disease (EMND).
  • Vitamin E has been found to help horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), which causes horses to have a higher burden of oxidative stress.

Rosehip – A Great Source of Vitamin E

When it comes to vitamin E supplements, not all are considered bioavailable, meaning that it’s absorbable in a form that is readily metabolized. Horses require bioavailable vitamin E to be able to effectively absorb this nutrient. Rosehip contains bioavailable vitamin E and can provide horses with a wealth of other important health benefits.

Elite Equine is an organic and pure rosehip supplement that delivers anti-inflammatory and immune system support for horses. If you’re looking for a natural and competition-safe supplement that’s a great source of vitamin E, trust Elite Equine.