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Effects of dietary supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids in horses affected with recurrent airway obstruction (RAO)

Due to the lack of data on the metabolism of n-3 fatty acids in equines the current study will evaluate the effects of defined supplements of n-3 or n-6 dietary fatty acids on the fatty acid pattern in the blood and on the eicosanoid- and cytokine levels in the blood and in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. The aim of this study is to investigate whether dietary supplementation of seal oil, which is rich in n-3 fatty acids, causes a change in the composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the serum and leukocyte-membranes of RAO-horses. It will be investigated if it modulates the inflammatory response via eicosanoid pattern and by changing cytokine expression, and if this results in clinical effects on lung function in horses suffering from RAO.

The hypothesis is, that dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from seal oil, by horses suffering from RAO

1. modulates the fatty acid patterns of the body and the eicosanoid profiles by being incorporated in membrane phospholipids,
2. has impact on immunological processes by modulating eicosanoid- and cytokine levels and therefore
3. has beneficial effects on lung function.
Coordination for vetmeduni vienna
Van Den Hoven Rene
Type of Research
Basic research
Van Den Hoven R.,
Vetmed Research Units
University Equine Clinic, Clinical Unit of Equine Internal Medicine
Projekt partner
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Funded by
4 Publications

Khol-Parisini, A; van den Hoven, R; Leinker, S; Hulan, HW; Zentek, J (2007): Effects of feeding sunflower oil or seal blubber oil to horses with recurrent airway obstruction. Can J Vet Res (71), 1 59-65. Open Access Logo

Khol-Parisini, A; van den Hoven, R; Hulan, H.W; Zentek, J (2005): Fatty acid kinetics of plasma and leukocyte membranes in horses after supplementation and withdrawal of sunflower and seal oil. (Fettsäurekinetik im Plasma und in den Leukozytenmembranen von Pferden während und nach Supplementierung von Sonnenblumen- und Seehundeöl). Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ernährungsphysiologie, Stuttgart, 08.-10.03.2005. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ernährungsphysiologie, Stuttgart, 08.-10.03.2005.

Parisini, A (2004): Effekte langkettiger omega-3 Fettsäuren auf Fettsäuremuster und Lungenfunktion von Pferden mit RAO (Recurrent Airway Obstruction). Dissertation, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 98.

Parisini, A; Zentek, J; van den Hoven, R; Hulan, H.W (2004): Effect of long chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on plasma fatty acid profiles and lung function in horses affected with RAO (recurrent airway obstruction). 58. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ernährungsphysiologie, Göttingen, 09.-11.03.2004. 58. Tagung der Gesellschaft für Ernährungsphysiologie, Göttingen, 09.-11.03.2004.

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