- Best Trait = excellent form and bioavailability of vitamin E
- Worst Trait = expensive
Consider this product if…
- Your active horse’s diet is hay-based and he/she does not have regular access to fresh, green pasture.
- You are not seeing expected muscle tone or stamina corresponding to quantity and quality of work load.
- You want to optimize reproductive health of stallions, broodmares and prodigy.
Why review this product?
The last decade of equine nutrition research has exposed a strong correlation between Vitamin E and equine performance! I have certainly seen supplementation of vitamin E transform horses of all performance types again and again, so I recommend it often. In situations where disease, stress, and intense performance collide with hay-based diets, I strongly recommend the natural sources over the synthetic sources. Therefore, I am reviewing multiple supplements this week that contain the d-alpha-tocoperol form of Vitamin E.
The Actual Review in 5 Parts
Company Information & Communication
Kentucky Equine Research based out of Versaille, Kentucky has a long standing reputation for research based, progressive products. My own connotation with the company is mostly positive including the rich research history of Dr. Joe Pagan and well rounded equine nutrition educational materials. They are one of the few feed/supplement product companies that maintain their own research facility which shows a long standing commitment to the industry. Though there are obvious disadvantages to private company research, I generally trust their science.
I also feel that marketing information throughout the KER website is accurate, science based, and does NOT mislead! They have a wealth of information about Vitamin E’s function in the horse and current research available which I will not cover in this review.
KER recommends a daily dose of 4-12 mL (1,000-3,000 IUs) for performance horses on hay-based diets. For optimal use as an antioxidant, they recommend increasing daily amount all the way to 20 mL (5,000 IU’s) before stressful events such as competition. As usual, I would like to see more description for use on the label (though more detail is available online), so I give KER Nano-E a 3 star rating for the Feeding Directions.
I was not able to find a complete label of KER Nano-E online, so I’m only using what is on their website. As stated previously, the Nano-E is the d-alpha-tocopherol, natural form of the nutrient. If I found out HOW that natural vitamin E is sourced by KER, I will add it to this review.
There are 250 IUs of natural vitamin E per milliliter of Nano-E which makes this product quite expensive to feed at recommended levels. Since most horses are getting about 1,000-2,000 IU’s from other products (i.e. feed or forage) and an average sized performance horse in moderate to heavy work needs 5,000 IUs, I’m going to use the addition of 3,000 IUs to compare this product with others on the market.
I started calculating cost by pretending to purchase this product straight from KER’s website- it is slightly cheaper on Amazon. They sell a 450 mL bottle (bulk is only available if purchased 16 at a time) for $77.95 plus $6.95 to ship it to Montana. That’s a total of $84.90 for 37 (12mL) servings. Since this 450 mL bottle will last 37 days, that’s $2.29 per day. Yikes!
Kentucky Equine Research has created a great, very high quality vitamin E product. I just wish that is was a little more affordable.
Back to Basics Alternatives
Finno, C.J., and S.J. Valberg. 2012. A comparative review of vitamin E and associated equine disorders. J. Vet. Intern. Med. 26:1251-1266.