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Coconut Oil for the Farm

Coconut Oil for the Farm

Coconut oil: how could it help your horse?


You may have already incorporated coconut oil into your own life, but can its benefits extend beyond human purposes — from cooking and beauty treatments — to helping support your horse’s performance while also improving the condition of their coat?

 

Research* suggests that one of the reasons coconut oil has become so popular with human athletes is that it’s more readily used by the body as a fuel than other fats, and can therefore help with endurance performance.

“In one study scientists found that when horses were fed diets containing either a high carbohydrate mix, a mix with 10 per cent soybean oil, 10 per cent coconut oil, or a mixture of soybean oil (five per cent) and coconut oil (five per cent), and then performance tested, those on the coconut oil produced less lactate, when galloping, than those on other feeds.

“A build-up of lactate, a by-product of using glucose as fuel, causes pain in muscles and therefore reduces performance.”

Researchers believe that the fats in coconut oil are broken down more quickly than those in other oils and fats and utilized as fuel rather than glucose, thus reducing the amount of lactate produced and increasing exercise performance.

 “We’ve been selling organic virgin coconut oil for humans for over a decade, but recently as new research has begun to highlight its potential benefits for horses, we’ve seen an ever growing demand for it in the equestrian world,” says Garry.
 
 
 

What the veterinary expert thinks…

Vet Simon Joyner (MRCVS), of Western Counties Equine Hospital in Devon, “Vets in our practice have used coconut oil in feed as an energy source, especially in old underweight horses and those horses prone to ‘tying up’,” says Simon. “This is where it allows a reduction in carbohydrate/starch based feeds. It has benefits that it is palatable and not prone to rancidity.

 
 
 
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What the equine nutritionist says….

David Frape, a leading authority on equine nutrition, says: “Virgin coconut oil is an unusual vegetable oil, as 60 per cent of its fatty acid content is made up of medium chain fatty acids, without trans fats.

“It is bland and readily consumed by fussy horses or dogs. It stores well and does not generate off-tastes. Virgin coconut oil is more easily digested than are most other fats or vegetable oils.

“It is useful for sick animals with malabsorption ailments, is excellent in training for endurance work and forestalling exhaustion. It preserves insulin sensitivity and should be useful in horses at risk of developing equine metabolic syndrome and type two diabetes, osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) and laminitis — so it’s a useful adjunct for horse husbandry.”

 

Rebecca Haywood, Horse & Hound Magazine (June 3, 2016), 

 http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/coconut-oil-541800#qVU57dxkwyjuc9EJ.99

 

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