Why use antioxidants in the diet of competition and race horses?

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High-level race and competition horses are animals for which zootechnical performance is expressed by its gains 

These reflect not only the physical performance on D-Day,  but also the recovery capacity of these athletes and therefore the number of events they can do per season at their best. 

Genetic potential, training, diet, and many other factors are all keys to such success. 

In order to contribute to the improvement of these performances, it’s possible to reduce oxidative stress. 

The manifestation of this phenomenon is the result of an accumulation of toxins called free radical oxygen (F.R.O) at the cell level :reactive forms of oxygentoxic waste products of respiration.  In horses subjected to intense and repeated efforts, as in all athletesthis “stress” affects performance (de Moffarts et al., 2005). Oxidative stress decreases the fluidity of the redblood membranes cells and contributes to increasing the risk of exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (Derksen, 1997). 

In the muscle celloxidative stress causes damage to the mitochondria, which act as reactors for the cell, which can lead to inflammatory phenomena,  muscle loss and even pathologies such as myositis. 

 Managing this cellular waste is a cascading process that involves several substances known as “antioxidants” (Fisher-Wellman & Bloomer, 2009). 

The latter are numerous and of two types: endogenousproduced by the animal itself or exogenous from feed or  the environment. When the antioxidant capacity of endogenous origin is saturated, and this is often the case for the type of horses of which we speak, it is necessary to facilitate the recovery of the athlete horse and preserve its muscular integrity to carry out an exogenous antioxydant contribution by feed for example. 

 But, bewarethese contributions  must be reasoned because the antioxydant molecules act in   synergy with each other and meticulously dosed because certain reactive forms of oxygen (free radicals) are more toxic than others. 

This is the work that the ROYAL HORSE® Research and Development department undertook a few years ago and which continues to improve the performance and the well-being of horses with the development of its exclusive antioxidant nucleus based on ‘AO Elite®‘ plant extracts that you can find in the range products for race and competition horses. 

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