Omega3 supplements such as camelina can be helpful in reducing allergy-induced skin problems in horses, according to a recent article in The Horse magazine.

The story, by equine nutrition consultant Clair Thunes, says "supplemental omega3 fat to your horse might very well help with inflammatory response being experienced due to allergies." Typically horses are fed 15 to 25 grams of camelina as a supplement, Thanes says.

Thunes goes on to say that "while a horse’s natural diet of fresh grass is not particularly high in fat (2 to 4%), the fat that’s present is relatively high in omega3 fatty acids (as much as 55%). Therefore, horses grazing good quality pasture for the majority of the day will consume quite large quantities of omega3 fatty acids."

The problem is that a typical horse diet such as hay is high in Omega6 - and horses need a balance between Omega3 and Omega6. "Based on work in other species veterinarians and nutritionists have suggested that the daily intake of Omega-6 to 3 (LA:ALA) should be somewhere between a 5:1 to 10:1 ratio.

"Omega3 fatty acids are often recommended for situations such as allergies because, when incorporated in to cell membranes, they tend to result in weaker inflammatory responses than omega6 fats.

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