What is Camelina Oil?
By: Nicole Mandracchia
As horse people, we are familiar with different types of oils for our horses diet. But there is a new type of oil that has recently taken the horse world by storm: Camelina oil.
“The CamOlive addition to Excel’s proprietary camelina oil adds more anti-inflammatory capabilities, which allows for a quicker recovery of muscles post-workout. It also helps reinforce the immune system, which gives you more protection against stomach irritation and ulcers.”
What is Camelina oil?
Originally, Camelina oil comes from the oilseed Camelina sativa. While it is native to Europe and grows well in cold and arid climates, sometimes, Asia and some places throughout North America, Slovenia, and Italy have the climate necessary for Camelina growth. Known in English as camelina, gold-of-pleasure, or false flax, this crop has been used in natural medicine for years.
Researchers’ became interested in Camelina because of its high level (up to 45%) of omega-3 fatty acids. It is uncommon to have this level of omega-3 fatty acids in plant based sources. Most of the fatty acids in cold-pressed camelina oil are polyunsaturated. This helps provide structure to cell membranes which can improve exercise stamina, lower heart rate, increase sperm production, improve immune response, and help with the body’s responsiveness to insulin.
Lastly, camelina oil contains Vitamin E in two forms, alpha and gamma tocopherol. These compounds protect the oil from oxidation and rancidity, which makes its shelf life stretch to over 18 months. Together with Omega properties, Vitamin E helps improve skin conditions and prevent free radical damage.
Is Camelina oil healthy?
Yes! Camelina oil comes from an ancient roman healing plant that has been used for decades for its medicinal properties. Camelina oil is made of Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, components needed for a healthy diet. Because a horses body does not produce Omega-3 and Omega-6 it needs to be supplemented accordingly. A horses body does produce Omega-9 fatty acids, leaving no need for supplementation.
Above all, Excel’s premier Camelina oil, ExcelEQ ProElite, has a ratio of 4:1 Omega-3s to Omega-6s, which is one of the highest ratios found in any supplementary oils you could feed your horse (including other camelina brands).
Is Camelina oil good for horses?
Yes! According to nutritionists, a majority of horses’ grain diets are higher in Omega-6 acids (pro-inflammation) than Omega-3 acids (anti-inflammation). For horses to achieve optimal health, there must be a balanced ration of Omega-3s and Omega-6s (which can be found in Excel’s Camelina oil). Remember, horses can’t produce Omega-3 and Omega-6 within the body, so adding a component like Excel’s camelina oil can really help.
Adding Excel’s exclusively grown and processed camelina oil to your horse’s diet will help alleviate that problem and balance out the Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio.
Why are Omega-3 fatty acids important for horses?
It has been proven that Omega-3 fatty acids help support a horse’s immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body. This property greatly helps a horse suffering from stiffness or arthritis. Studies have shown that feeding Omega-3 can prevent and heal damage to nerve cells. Omega-3s anti-inflammatory properties help serotonin receptors become more active, clearing pathways in the brain. Because serotonin affects the mood; the lower the levels of serotonin are, the more anxious or nervous a horse can be.
Balancing a horse’s diet with Omega-3 fatty acids could lead to a horse with a more stable and consistent mood. Omega-3 can also help improve digestive health, enhance fertility, and improve coat condition. In addition, horses with skin sensitivity and allergies have greatly benefited from regular Omega-3 supplementation. ExcelEQ ProElite™ has a 4:1 Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, the highest available plant based Omega ratio on the market.
Why are Omega-6 fatty acids important for horses?
In well-balanced and moderate dosing, Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary in horse’s diet. For example, Omega-6s stimulate the immune system and assist in urine production, electrolyte balance, and digestion. These properties are important to maintain a healthy horse. Omega-6s also help fight off infection and are exceptionally effective when you’re looking to add some weight onto your horse. Excel’s camelina oil has an ideal ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6, making it the perfect addition to any horses diet.
What does Camelina oil smell like? Will my horse eat it?
Camelina oil has an earthy smell. In short, even the pickiest of eaters enjoy it as a top dressing to their normal grain ration.
How do you store Camelina oil?
Excel’s camelina oil is cold-pressed with minimal processing, helping it maintain high levels of vitamin E, commonly known as gamma-tocopherol. This classifies camelina oil as a stable oil, which also makes its shelf life longer.
Where can you buy Camelina oil?
Excel Supplements is available for purchase on our website, as well as retailers and dealers throughout the country. Excel’s overall wellness formula, ExcelEQ, is perfect for horses in low work or retired horses, while the performance and recovery formula ExcelEQ ProElite, is perfect for horses with a heavy work load and ones that are in current recovery.
What makes Excel’s Camelina oil different?
For the last 15+ years, Excel has worked to develop proprietary camelina varieties which are optimized to yield the highest level of omegas, sterols and polyphenols. Our control of the entire process, from the planted seed to your animal’s feed enables you to be certain your animal is getting the highest quality supplement available.
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About the Author
Nicole Mandracchia (aka “Smiley”) has been immersed in the horse show world for 17 years. She rode and showed in Zone 2 as a junior, attended Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, and was the captain of the IHSA team. Nicole has groomed and ridden for several top professionals in the industry, including: Robin Rost Brown, Val Renihan, Missy Clark and John Brennan’s North Run, and Amanda Steege. Because of this, she has spent a majority of that time traveling up and down the East Coast following the A-rated circuit, including Florida and all the indoor finals.
Nicole is also a frequent blogger for The Chronicle of the Horse. In addition, Nicole helped run a successful A-rated and C-rated horse show series in Augusta, NJ, from 2012-2017. Nicole has won four grooming awards in her career: at The Sussex County Farm and Horse Show (2013), The Capital Challenge Horse Show (2018), WEF (2018), and The National Horse Show (2019).
Nicole’s most memorable indoors’ experience was at The 2018 National Horse Show when both of the horses she was grooming claimed a tricolor in their respective divisions (Lafitte de Muze was champion in the Green 3’6″ Green Hunter division and Zara was reserve champion in the 3’6″ Green Conformation Hunter division). Nicole owns a Dalmatian named Maddie and her boyfriend Lee also works the horse show scene as an in-gate starter. Writing is a passion of hers and she enjoys sharing tips, funny stories, and advice on anything horse-related!