Vitamin E is essential for PSSM horses but what exactly is it? And why does it play such a vital role in feeding PSSM horses?

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a group of 8 fat soluble compounds that includes 4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols.

What Is Vitamin E?
The RRR alpha-tocopherol form of Vitamin E

When Was Vitamin E Discovered?

Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by Katharine Scott Bishop & Herbert Mclean Evans who found out that it was essential to prevent foetal re-absorption in rats who were Vitamin E deficient.

What Is The Function Of Vitamin E?

Vitamin E aids in a number of bodily functions including nerve & muscle function, immune response and antioxidant action.

How does Vitamin E aid in muscle function?

Ever heard of the saying “No pain no gain?” When it comes to muscle function this saying is true! The process of building muscle whether it be in humans or animals causes small muscle membrane tears, that is why when you go to the gym and push that little bit harder you ache! Although this sounds scary this tearing is part of the natural muscle building process. What Vitamin E does is repairs these muscle membrane tears to stop them from spilling out their contents, without Vitamin E these membranes cannot repair and cell contents leak out into the blood causing muscle wasting. As PSSM is a muscle disease Vitamin E is essential for these horses especially when they have had a bout of tightness or tying up.

Can Horses Produce Vitamin E?

No horses cannot produce Vitamin E, it is something that they can only get from food sources.

Where Is Vitamin E Found In A Horses Diet Naturally?

Vitamin E is found in lush green forage like grass or high quality haylage

Where Is Vitamin E Found In A Horses Diet Naturally?
“Vitamin E is found in lush pastures & high quality forage”

Why Do PSSM1 Horses Need Supplemented Vitamin E?

PSSM1 horses are unable to have access to lush pastures or high quality forage due to the sugar content which causes them to be symptomatic, by cutting out these feed sources we cut out the Vitamin E.

Why do PSSM2 Horses Need Supplemented Vitamin E?

PSSM2 variants are a form of exercise intolerance, most of these horses have gaps or tears within the muscle structure so when worked (if they are able to) the muscles of a PSSM2 horse have to work much, much harder. Alongside this some PSSM2 horses benefit from the low sugar, low starch diet of a PSSM1 horse, so by cutting out lush pastures and high quality forage we are cutting out the only feed sources of Vitamin E.

What Happens When A Horse Is Vitamin E Deficient?

Prolonged muscle soreness, Poor immunity, Muscle wasting, Weakness

How Much Vitamin E Does A PSSM Horse Need?

This can vary from horse to horse, there is no definitive answer some PSSM horses are able to manage on the recommended dose of Vitamin E, while some will require much more.

For more information on “Vitamin E & It’s Benefits For PSSM Horses” check out our YouTube video by clicking this link