Antioxidants support optimal health and performance by limiting oxidative stress.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are your horse’s major defense system against the scourge of free radicals and oxidative stress. There are several types of antioxidants: enzymatic antioxidants that are synthesized in the body and non-enzymatic, or nutritional, antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium that are provided in a horse’s diet. Antioxidants scavenge and convert free radicals to relatively stable compounds, stopping free radical damage and limiting oxidative stress.
Why add antioxidants to my horse’s feeding program?
Increasing athletic efforts, daily stress and aging can cause free radical production to flourish. In these situations, your horse’s normal stores of antioxidants may have difficulty providing protection against the flood of free radicals that are being generated. Supplementation with nutritional antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium, is necessary to ward off the ill effects of the mass-produced free radicals.
Antioxidants are beneficial to different horses and ponies in different ways.
Performance horses and racehorses
- Antioxidants increase stamina and support quicker recovery after exercise
- Reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, resulting in less stiffness and soreness
- Strengthen immune response, allowing horses to remain healthier in times of stress
Breeding stock and foals
- Antioxidants positively affect fertility in mares and support a strong immune response in foals
- Increase libido and semen quality in stallions
- Support strong cell membrane in sperm during cooling and freezing
Special-needs horses and senior horses
- Antioxidants lessen the damage from oxidative stress in older horses
- Supply protection from oxidative stress to horses unable to graze on fresh pasture (horses with metabolic syndrome, stalled horses, or horses on winter pasture)
- Support healthy cell membranes in horses suffering from neurological disorders