Omega 6 / Omega 3
Omegas 6 and omegas 3 are particularly relevant regarding fertility.
They have also proved their effectiveness as antioxydants expressed by decrease in blood viscosity, and in heart rhythm and better oxygenation of muscles with less muscular damage for competition horses (Kentucky University, (O’Connor and al 2004).
Even if feeds with high fat contents are a recognized energy source for competition horses, less information is available on the role of specific fatty acids.
Ranged in the groups of ω 6 and ω 3 essential fatty acids (EFA) have many actions inside the body.
If ω6 fatty acids are present in nowadays horse feeds, it is not the same for ω 3, owing to a lack of varieties sometimes.
In mare and foetus
They seem to be preferably absorbed by placenta. Therefore, they probably act on :
- Gestation maintenance by controlling prostaglandin production (known as interfering hormone with embryo implantation)
- General growth and blood flow in foetus (which will improve nutrient supply to foetus)
- Essential fatty acids increase in foetus (helping thus normal growth and development)
- Foetus immunity
- Satifactory post-partum uterine involution
And last, omega 6/omega 3 ratio has a main influence on all inflammation reactions inside the body.
Results of many scientific studies suggest that ω 3 could contribute to control and limit inflammatory phenomena while ω 6 (and saturated fats) would promote “free” inflammatory reactions and amplification of allergic reactions. (Simopoulos, 2002).
It is important that essential fatty acids imbalance could be corrected through consumption of relevant fatty acids.
A ratio around 3.6 to 4 omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids is generally considered as an optimum functional ratio.
Disrupting the balance ω3/ω6 may change the way the organism works and lead to some pathologies. In the same way, supply with an optimum balance of 3,6 to 4 ω 6/ω 3 seems to have a preventive effect against these pathologies.