Oxidative Stress and Antioxidants for Athletic Horses

Vitamin E, C and Selenium are some of the supplements that help in the care of athletic horses. Learn more about the subject and the influence of oxidative stress in the following material! 
The intense practice of physical activities is part of the daily routine of athlete horses. Capable of providing many benefits to the health of the animal, since it promotes the reduction of the risk of diseases and the improvement of the function of organs and tissues, exercises, when they exceed physiological limits, can become harmful to the body and cause oxidative stress. .    

What is oxidative stress?
The explanation is simple: the causes of the cell oxidation process are free radicals. When performing intense exercises, the horse’s defense system goes into imbalance, that is, there is a large production of free radicals. This makes the antioxidants insufficient to meet the demand and stabilize these molecules, which remain in large quantities in the body, causing damage to muscle cells. 
The effects of oxidative stress 
With oxidative stress, several negative effects are observed in animals, such as the appearance of lesions and decreased performance during the tests. 
For this reason, it is important to find a way to rebalance the equine’s defense system. A quick and effective way to alleviate oxidative stress is through the supplementation of exogenous antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium, which act by protecting the integrity of muscle cells and, mainly, neutralizing the action of free radicals. 

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E is not synthesized by the horse’s body, being considered an essential nutrient that must be obtained through diet or supplementation. 
The main property of this vitamin is its antioxidant potential, as it captures free radicals and reduces the amount of lipid peroxides, which are toxic and destroy cells. This prevents membrane phospholipid oxidation and, consequently, prevents cell damage and oxidative stress. 

Vitamin C 

On the other hand, vitamin C can be synthesized by the horse. However, during periods of illness and/or stress, its production is usually not sufficient to meet the body’s growing need. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant inside and outside the cell. In addition, it interacts with vitamin E, thus intensifying the antioxidant effect. With this, supplementation can be indicated mainly in times of stress and high demand.  


Selenium is a mineral considered essential for the growth and development of the animal. It is common for there to be a deficiency of this element in the nutrition of horses, as its concentration is higher in the blood of carnivorous and omnivorous animals compared to herbivores. 
Therefore, it is recommended that pasture-raised horses be supplemented with this mineral. In addition, selenium increases the activity of immune cells and prevents the development of tumors.  
 Thus, supplementing athletic horses with exogenous antioxidants brings benefits to the body, preventing disease risks and providing health and well-being to the animals.  
Do you want to ensure quality supplementation for good performance and take care of your horse as it deserves? So go to the Organnact website right now and discover our complete line of products! 

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