of fatty cell components during exercise, it
permits the horses to recover more quickly. Of course, there are other compounds
that help with the metabolism of vitamin E. Selenium, a mineral, works together
with vitamin E as it helps with the secretion of toxic substances.
For those who are a bit rusty on the concept of antioxidants, it is important
to remember the facts of oxidation. As your horse exercises, its cell structure
threatens to be broken down because of compounds that contain oxygen. The more
strenuous the exercises, the more oxygen containing compounds are present. The
results are injuries brought on by cellular damage. To fight oxidation, the
horseís metabolism needs nutrients, especially vitamin E, but also vitamin C,
beta carotene, and minerals, such as selenium, copper and zinc. The minerals
permit the animalís body to metabolize the products of oxidation and changing
them into easily secreted byproducts. The reason for a combined approach to
counteract oxidation rests on the fact that different nutrients fight oxidation
in different portions of the cellular structure.
Left unchecked and untreated, oxidation will cause the cellular structures to
collapse, and the result may be a lowered immune system. Additionally, muscles
will no longer adequately perform their tasks. Weight loss is imminent, as is
lowered energy and decreased performance. Fortunately, you will be able to
counteract this effect simply by supplementing your animalís diet with vitamin E
and also selenium. If you are mixing your own supplements, keep in mind that
while high levels of vitamin E are not dangerous, high levels of selenium are.
Copper and zinc should also be added carefully. Quality feed will already
contain sufficient amounts of these minerals, making it easier for you to assure
your horseís dietary health. Whenever possible, choose a feed that uses organic
zinc and copper rather than their inorganic counterparts. The former are
metabolized more fully. Another antioxidant of note is vitamin C. the main
difference between vitamins E and C is simply the fact that the former works on
the cell membrane while the latter goes to work inside the actual cell itself.
Beta carotene, as it is found in fresh grass, helps the body to heal itself.