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Corn Oil = Gi Inflammation

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I was at this barrel race and this product representative was telling me that it was bad to feed corn oil because it promotes GI inflammation and that horses should be fed rice bran oil. I thought it was a bunch of tall tales because she just so happened to be selling rice bran oil! My friend asked her vet about the claims of corn oil and inflammation and he said it was false. Then I last week I got this SmartPak newsletter in the mail and it had an article about nutrition myths. One of the myths was about positive effects of adding corn oil to horses feed, they stated it was false and that corn oil leads to inflammation in the horse's GI tract.

I wanted to know if anyone had any idea if these new claims are true, seems to be the vets I've asked about it say that it doesn't cause inflammation. I'm kind of confused. [Question]

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I've used it for many horses and never had a problem with it. And it DOES help put on weight. A cup of corn oil has 1200 extra fat calories.

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I'm sure that SOME horses may have issues with it.

Though SOME horses have issues with soy. Some with wheat. Some with oats. Some with barley. Some with alfalfa. Some with molasses. Some with corn. Some with......

You get the idea.

I'm always leery of someone telling me that something that is commonly accepted as standard protocol is BAD when they're ALSO trying to SELL me an alternative.

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The idea is that the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 Fatty Acids play a role in inflammation and that corn oil is high in Omega 6, but low in Omega 3. Rice bran and fish oil are higher in Omega 3s, thus giving a better "non-inflammatory" profile. Ask to see their evidence.....

Horses have lived on corn oil for years and years and do just fine. Always be wary of what people say when they're trying to sell something. Incidentally, we just had a horse come back from a major regional referral center with Grade 4/4 gastric ulcers. They recommended corn oil. Seems if corn oil is so "bad" for gut inflammation, you wouldn't be recommending it for ulcers, eh?

Edited by cvm2002

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I got that letter, too.

They want you to buy expensive stuff from them.

I used corn oil, then switched to canola oil. Horse did well on both.

I also did use rice bran oil--good stuff, too.

No problems with any of the above mentioned.

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Texas A & M supposedly just conducted a study on this. I no longer have access to the programs I had in the past to verify this (downside to graduating). I came across it on the Cocosoya oil page from Uckele. Maybe someone else can look into it further?

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I read something about it as well. I've had nothing but luck with corn oil *knock on wood*. I have switched over to veggie oil recently because it's cheaper and has the soybean oil in it.

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I don't use oils at all ... there is reserch showing that it inhibits the absorpation of some minerals. So when I need extra calories I use rice bran even though it is alittle more expensive

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even the "Ol timers have always used it I do too! those 'ol timers never had a "study" they just knew what work'd! I use it though not as much as some, only @1/4 cup a day...but have always used it and never had a problem ...but I saw the Smartpak article too....but if I did anything it would be to change to rice bran oil, if I was not using there Daily Omega Plus* and need the corn oil (or something?to make it stick to my Safechoice*.

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http://www.swedishhorsepowercanada.com/nutrition.html

Fats

The most important function of fat is as energy storage. Fat will also act as protection for organs, for example, the kidneys are embedded in a protective fat layer.

Horses do not have a gall bladder and are therefore unable to break down and digest high amounts of fat/oil in the feed ration. Instead the excess will strain the horse?s intestines and liver. Another disadvantage with oil supplements is the proneness to oxidative rancidity. Studies have shown that when excess amounts of fat are entering the large intestine, both fiber and fat digestibility will be reduced. Studies have also shown that oil supplements will cause poor appetite in horses.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/feed...feed/eqoil1917/

Please keep in mind that adding oil is good in moderation, but adding too much oil could lead to loose manure and may reduce the digestibility and absorption of some nutrients

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Fats

The most important function of fat is as energy storage. Fat will also act as protection for organs, for example, the kidneys are embedded in a protective fat layer.

Horses do not have a gall bladder and are therefore unable to break down and digest high amounts of fat/oilin the feed ration. Instead the excess will strain the horse?s intestines and liver. Another disadvantage with oil supplements is the proneness to oxidative rancidity. Studies have shown that when excess amounts of fat are entering the large intestine, both fiber and fat digestibility will be reduced. Studies have also shown that oil supplements will cause poor appetite in horses.

Define "excess". Many feed companies now put out feeds up to 10% fat. A cup of corn oil a day is not much more than that. And I'm still waiting on the minerals clarification.

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By: Karen Briggs, Feed specialist and equine nutritionist

Gary Potter, PhD, of Texas A & M University, is a leading equine nutrition researcher

"Fat is easily metabolized by horses, despite the fact that their digestive systems (best adapted for the processing of fiber) didn't evolve to deal with it. Studies have shown that as much as 20% overall fat in the diet is well tolerated by horses, with no ill effects noted. Indeed, fat might well be easier for horses to digest than carbohydrates, as it has been demonstrated that a fat-supplemented diet, unlike a high-carbohydrate diet, has no effect on the pH of the cecum (and thus no detrimental effect on the beneficial microflora inhabiting the large intestine). Fat appears to be absorbed almost exclusively in the small intestine".

"Another interesting fat digestion fact is that horses can utilize fats well despite the fact that they have no gall bladder. In most mammals, the gall bladder excretes bile and salts to help break down fats, but in horses, the liver seems to take over that function, with no fat digestion problems that research has been able to identify".

Is Dietary Fat Really Healthy?

by: Ray Geor, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM

"In the last decade or so, there has been increasing use of supplemental vegetable oil in horse diets. Corn and soya oils are the most commonly used, although canola, linseed, or flaxseed oils can also be safely fed to horses. Flaxseed and linseed oils are both produced from flaxseed; flaxseed oil is cold-pressed whereas linseed oil is extracted under high temperature using petroleum-based solvents. Thus, flaxseed oil is a more "natural" feed ingredient, although rations with 4-8% linseed oil or flaxseed oil have been fed to horses without apparent problems".

"The horse's digestive system can manage reasonably large quantities of dietary fat, although there can be digestive upsets (diarrhea) if large amounts of oil are suddenly added to the diet. In general, the quantity of oil added to the diet should be increased gradually over a two- to three-week period. "

"One of the main nutritional advantages of fat is its energy density. Vegetable oils have about three times as much digestible energy (DE) as oats and 2.5 times as much as corn. This feature is especially useful when managing a hard keeper or sick horse--adding fat can result in a substantial increase in caloric intake without requiring the horse to consume more food. The horse also can use fat energy in an efficient manner. When a typical hay and grain diet is fed, a horse is only able to utilize 50-60% of the energy in these feedstuffs. On the other hand, horses can utilize more than 90% of the energy contained in a vegetable oil since more of the energy is available to the horse. This is one reason why fat supplementation is useful for fattening thin animals or helping to meet the very high-energy requirements of horses in heavy training."

"Healthy or Not?

To evaluate whether or not dietary fat is "healthy," we need to consider the impact of fat on body functions. The first consideration is gastrointestinal function, particularly in performance horses requiring large amounts of high-energy feeds for maintenance of body condition. Traditionally, heavy grain feeding was used to meet these energy requirements. The major concern with this approach is an increased risk of gastrointestinal problems--with large grain intakes (more than 11-15 pounds, or 5-7 kg, per day for a 1,100-pound, or 500-kg, horse) some of the grain passes undigested into the large intestine, where it ferments. Excessive grain fermentation can disrupt the normal microbial population of the hindgut and predispose the horse to colic and other digestive upsets.

Adding fat (and a highly digestible fiber source such as beet pulp) to the ration allows for a substantial reduction in the quantity of grain (and starch) in the diet. This approach can help stabilize the hindgut environment and prevent digestive disturbances. Score 1 for fat.

A higher-fat diet also might favorably alter behavior. Compared to a traditional hay and cereal grain diet, a diet containing a combination of corn oil and soy lecithin has been shown to reduce spontaneous activity and reactivity to noise and sudden visual stimuli.1 Clinical experience also indicates that many horses exhibit a calmer disposition--being less hot-headed--when fed a higher-fat ration compared to a more traditional starch- and sugar-based diet. Score 2 for fat.

Speaking of hot-headed horses, it is well known that a nervous temperament is one of the factors contributing to tying-up episodes in horses with recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis (RER), a condition most common in racing Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. It is also well established that higher-fat and -fiber feeds (compared to a grain-based ration) help in the management of horses with RER, possibly because of the "calming effect" of the higher fat diet. Score 3 for fat.

A higher-fat, lower-starch and -sugar diet is also crucial in the management of horses with polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM), another form of chronic tying-up. PSSM is associated with abnormal storage of excess glycogen (the body's storage form of glucose) in skeletal muscle, likely because these horses are more sensitive to the effects of insulin, the hormone responsible for the clearance of glucose from the bloodstream. Therefore, the starches present in grain "fuel the fire" by providing the extra glucose necessary for the synthesis of glycogen in muscle. Grain should be removed from the diets of horses with PSSM (and from the diets of draft-breed horses with a similar condition called equine polysaccharide myopathy, or EPSM). An increase in fat intake, together with the restriction in dietary starch and sugar, is also important in the management of horses with PSSM or EPSM, because it can provide the calories normally provided by the grains without stimulating insulin release. Score 4 for fat.

Finally, additional oil in the diet might benefit skin and hoof appearance. Clinically, the coat and hooves take on a shiny, healthy look when horses are fed a fat-supplemented diet. Another point for fat.

Based on our current understanding, there is little to indicate that feeding fat to horses is harmful. In fact, the weight of evidence suggests that a higher-fat diet is a much healthier approach than a more traditional high-grain diet. However, there are no data on the long-term effects of feeding rations containing over 7-10% fat to horses. It is currently recommended to limit the total fat intake to 10% or less".

"So, the answer is that yes, fat is safe to feed if done so within certain parameters. Start adding fat slowly to the diet to avoid digestive upset. Increase vitamin E when increasing fat. Use vegetable sources and not animal sources. Beware of adding too much, even of a good thing. "

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