For years, the team at QRILL Pet has explored the many health benefits of Antarctic Krill for dogs and cats, and now the company has discovered how krill oil (in the form of QRILL Pet PL OMEGA Plus) can benefit horses too.
Just as they do for dogs and cats, omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA can help support healthy joints as well as benefit skin and coat health in horses too. In fact, multiple studies indicate that EPA and DHA can assist horses with metabolic syndrome, airway problems, and mobility issues.
Aker BioMarine recently collaborated on a pilot study with scientists from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences to uncover whether krill oil was well accepted by horses as well as effective in improving the concentrations of omega-3 in the horse's red blood cell membrane and in other vital body organs.
More than that, they sought to improve the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, shifting the balance towards a more anti-inflammatory immune state.
Setting up the study
After 35 days, the trial revealed that a daily dose of krill oil could alter their fatty acid profile, creating a healthier balance of pro-inflammatory (omega-6) and anti-inflammatory (omega-3) fatty acids in the body.
The study included five Norwegian Coldblood Trotter horse geldings.
Over the course of 35 days, the horses were fed a standard diet that was supplemented with daily 10 ml/100 kg body weight of QRILL Pet PL Omega Plus Oil from Aker BioMarine.
Blood samples were taken throughout the trial to measure the changes to the Omega-3 Index in the horses, as well as extended blood panel analysis to ensure safety and acceptance.
Promising results and new opportunities
A high Omega-3 Index is important for general health and particularly in horses struggling with inflammatory-driven conditions.
The horses accepted the krill oil supplementation well, and no adverse effects were observed.
The horses exhibited a gradual increase in the Omega-3 Index throughout the study, starting at very low levels (<0.5%) and increasing by more than 6 times, up to 4%.
With the gradual increase in omega-3 fatty acid levels in the horses, the omega-6 (pro-inflammatory) levels decreased, resulting in a more anti-inflammatory immune state with krill oil supplementation.
“Our prior research encompassed dogs, cats, and humans, demonstrating the efficacy of krill oil supplementation, particularly due to its phospholipid form, to enhance the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids into cell membranes. This recent study expands our findings to include horses, revealing a significant enhancement in their Omega-3 Index during the feeding trial," said Lena Burri, Director of R&D in Aker BioMarine and cowriter in the published article
"Consequently, we can now confidently include horses as another species that respond favorably to krill inclusion in their diet,” she added.