Journal of veterinary internal medicine2012; 26(6); 1251-1266; doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00994.x

A comparative review of vitamin E and associated equine disorders.

Abstract: Vitamin E is a primary chain-breaking antioxidant that prevents cyclic propagation of lipid peroxidation. Across species, vitamin E is essential for normal neuromuscular function by acting as a potent antioxidant, as well as by modulating the expression of certain genes, inhibiting platelet aggregation and stabilizing plasma membranes. This review focuses on vitamin E structure, absorption, metabolism, current equine dietary recommendations, the interplay between antioxidants and exercise, a discussion of the necessity of vitamin E supplementation in the horse above the Nutritional Research Council (NRC) 2007 requirements, and a review of equine diseases that are associated with a vitamin E deficiency. Particular emphasis is placed on the proteins involved in vitamin E absorption, transport, and metabolism as potential candidates for vitamin E-associated diseases across species.
Publication Date: 2012-08-27 PubMed ID: 22925200DOI: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2012.00994.xGoogle Scholar: Lookup
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The research article is a comparative review of the function of vitamin E and its relation to various disorders in horses, highlighting its crucial role as an antioxidant, influence on gene expression, platelet aggregation inhibition, and plasma membrane stabilization.

Vitamin E Structure, Absorption, and Metabolism

In this study, the researchers provide information about vitamin E’s structure, absorption process, and metabolism. Vitamin E is a primary chain-breaking antioxidant, which indicates its critical role in preventing the cyclic propagation of lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation refers to the oxidative degradation of lipids in the body, a process that can lead to cell damage and various health disorders. Proper understanding of the absorption and metabolism processes of Vitamin E is crucial as these steps influence its functionality within an organism.

Equine Dietary Recommendations

The study also delves into the current recommendations for dietary vitamin E intake for horses. The researchers reference the Nutritional Research Council (NRC) 2007 requirements advising on the amount of vitamin E necessary to maintain a healthy equine system. The nutritional needs of horses largely depict their health and performance, and as vitamin E impacts several vital processes in their bodies, it is paramount that its intake is adequately regulated.

Antioxidants, Exercise, and Vitamin E Supplementation

The relationship between antioxidants, exercise, and the necessity of vitamin E supplementation beyond the recommended NRC 2007 requirements is also discussed. Exercise triggers an increased metabolic rate which can cause oxidative stress in the equine body. Consequently, horses, particularly those in high-performance settings, may require additional vitamin E supplementation to combat this oxidative stress and maintain cellular health.

Vitamin E-Associated Diseases

The focus of the study is on equine diseases associated with a vitamin E deficiency. This emphasis is necessary as understanding the link between such diseases and deficiency could assist in prevention, early detection, and treatment options. Knowing which diseases are likely to occur from a deficiency in vitamin E could motivate better supplementation practices for equine health.

Protein Involvement in Vitamin E Absorption, Transport, and Metabolism

Finally, the study highlights proteins that participate in vitamin E absorption, transport, and metabolism as potential candidates for vitamin E-associated diseases. Understanding the relationships among these proteins, and their individual roles, could guide future research and provide new insights into combatting equine disorders related to vitamin E deficiency.

Cite This Article

Finno CJ, Valberg SJ. (2012). A comparative review of vitamin E and associated equine disorders. J Vet Intern Med, 26(6), 1251-1266.


ISSN: 1939-1676
NlmUniqueID: 8708660
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 26
Issue: 6
Pages: 1251-1266

Researcher Affiliations

Finno, C J
  • Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.
Valberg, S J

    MeSH Terms

    • Animals
    • Antioxidants / pharmacology
    • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
    • Horse Diseases / prevention & control
    • Horses
    • Vitamin E / pharmacology


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