Animals : an open access journal from MDPI2022; 12(21); 3006; doi: 10.3390/ani12213006

Effects of Crude Rice Bran Oil and a Flaxseed Oil Blend in Young Horses Engaged in a Training Program.

Abstract: Rice bran oil and flaxseed oil contain omega-3 fatty acids with the potential to reduce post-exercise inflammation and muscle damage. This study measures plasma interleukin-1β and creatine kinase and fatty acid profiles in lightly worked, young horses (Equus caballus) undergoing an exercise test after 60 days (d) of oil consumption, where the oil replaced 25% of concentrate calories. Treatments consisted of CON (no oil), FLAX (flaxseed oil blend), and RICE (crude rice bran oil). Blood was collected pre-exercise, and again at 1 min, 30 min, 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h post-IET. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA. Plasma creatine kinase activity was not different in CON during the study, greater (p < 0.05) in RICE from pre-exercise to 30 min post-exercise across all exercise tests, and lesser (p < 0.05) in FLAX at 30 min post-exercise on d 30 compared to d 0. Plasma interleukin-1β was greater (p < 0.01) in CON on d 60, but no differences were observed in FLAX and RICE throughout the study. Plasma alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids were greatest (p < 0.05) in FLAX after 30 d of inclusion, while CON horses had greater (p < 0.05) EPA across all exercise tests and DHA after 60 d. These results indicate that 60 d of inclusion of crude rice bran oil or a flaxseed oil blend may benefit lightly worked, young horses by reducing training-program-related increases in interleukin-1β, while a flaxseed oil blend may reduce exercise-induced increases in creatine kinase. Additionally, the flaxseed oil blend has the potential to increase plasma omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Replacing 25% of concentrate calories with flaxseed or rice bran oil has potential benefits for young horses in training.
Publication Date: 2022-11-02 PubMed ID: 36359130PubMed Central: PMC9653641DOI: 10.3390/ani12213006Google Scholar: Lookup
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The research paper focuses on the impact of crude rice bran oil and a flaxseed oil blend on young horses involved in a training program. It suggests that these oils, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, might help moderate inflammation and muscle damage after exercise, as measured by factors like plasma interleukin-1β and creatine kinase levels, and fatty acid profiles.

Study Design and Methods

  • The research focused on young horses that were lightly worked and undergoing an exercise test.
  • The horses were divided into three groups. The first group was a control (CON) group that didn’t consume any oil. The second group consumed a flaxseed oil blend (FLAX) and the third group consumed crude rice bran oil (RICE). The oil intake was designed to replace 25% of the concentrate calories in the horses’ diets for 60 days.
  • Blood samples were collected from the horses at multiple points: before the exercise, and 1 minute, 30 minutes, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after the Integrated Exercise Test (IET).
  • Plasma interleukin-1β and creatine kinase, which are markers of inflammation and muscle damage respectively, were measured. The fatty acid profiles of the plasma were also assessed.

Key Findings

  • In terms of creatine kinase activity, the CON group showed no significant change during the study. In the RICE group, it increased significantly from pre-exercise to 30 minutes post-exercise across all exercise tests. The FLAX group, however, saw a reduction at 30 minutes post-exercise on day 30 when compared with day 0.
  • The levels of plasma interleukin-1β were greater in the CON group on day 60, but there were no significant differences observed in the FLAX and RICE groups throughout the study.
  • The FLAX diet led to the highest levels of plasma alpha-linolenic and linoleic acids after 30 days, indicating an increase in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The CON group, however, had greater levels of EPA across all exercise tests and DHA after 60 days.

Conclusions and Implications

  • The results indicate that replacing 25% of concentrate calories with crude rice bran oil or a flaxseed oil blend for 60 days may benefit young, lightly worked horses by reducing the training-related increase in interleukin-1β. Furthermore, a flaxseed oil blend may also reduce the exercise-induced increase in creatine kinase.
  • The study suggests a potential benefit in using these oils in the diet of young horses in training to promote overall health, particularly by counteracting the effects of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle damage.

Cite This Article

Mowry KC, Thomson-Parker TL, Morales C, Fikes KK, Stutts KJ, Leatherwood JL, Anderson MJ, Smith RX, Suagee-Bedore JK. (2022). Effects of Crude Rice Bran Oil and a Flaxseed Oil Blend in Young Horses Engaged in a Training Program. Animals (Basel), 12(21), 3006.


ISSN: 2076-2615
NlmUniqueID: 101635614
Country: Switzerland
Language: English
Volume: 12
Issue: 21
PII: 3006

Researcher Affiliations

Mowry, Kayla C
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Thomson-Parker, Timber L
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Morales, Cruz
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Fikes, Kalley K
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Stutts, Kyle J
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Leatherwood, Jessica L
  • Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, College State, TX 77843, USA.
Anderson, Mark J
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.
Smith, Rachelle X
  • Sam Houston State University Analytical Laboratory, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA.
Suagee-Bedore, Jessica K
  • School of Agricultural Sciences, College of Science and Engineering Technology, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77340, USA.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funders had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results.


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