18 December, 2013
The problem: Horses in some management systems do not have access to green forages, which means many do not consume sufficient vitamin E for optimal health. Vitamin E, one of the fat-soluble vitamins, functions as an antioxidant by inserting itself into the cell membrane and neutralizing free radicals, which can weaken cells and tissue. Research has proven, though, that not all vitamin E is created equally, with notable differences between natural and synthetic vitamin E. The most important dissimilarity involves the bioavailability. Natural-source vitamin E is much more bioavailable than synthetic, and therefore is the preferred form.
The solution: Provision of a high-quality source of vitamin E to horses without access to green forage is key. The vitamin E supplement should be natural and thus highly bioavailable, and must be stable during storage.
The vitamin E in most supplements is protected from degradation through a process known as esterification, which binds vitamin E with acid during manufacture. The acid acts as a padlock or protective cap that shields the vitamin E from damages caused by exposure to oxidative forces. Without esterification, vitamin E can quickly denature, losing its antioxidant properties and rendering it ineffective. Once ingested, esterified vitamin E is subjected to normal digestive enzymes, some of which unlock the protective cap created through esterification and make it available for absorption.
The natural vitamin E in Nano•E is not protected by esterification, but in order for it to retain superior antioxidant properties, it must become water-soluble or dispersible in liquid. This presented a challenge: as everyone knows, oil and water don’t mix.
The technology: Researchers developed a method by which fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed with great efficiency. Because of its oily nature, vitamin is hydrophobic (water-shunning). To overcome this, researchers used proprietary technology to encapsulate the vitamin E in nanoparticles and then surround each nanoparticle with a hydrophilic (water-loving) outer layer. The hydrophilic layer allows the nanoparticles to be rapidly and evenly released in water-based environments such as the gastrointestinal tract. The result: Nano•E is significantly more bioavailable than other sources of vitamin E, even other sources of natural vitamin E. The more vitamin that is absorbed into the bloodstream, the more available it is for use as a body-wide antioxidant essential for tissue repair and for its imperative roles in various body systems.