• Open Access

A Comparative Review of Vitamin E and Associated Equine Disorders


Corresponding author: Dr C. Finno, UC Davis VMTH, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616; e-mail: cjfinno@ucdavis.edu.


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.