Which Vitamin E Supplement is Better? Elevate or SmartPak's Natural Vitamin E?

I put my 13 year old Thoroughbred on a Vitamin E supplement last fall (SmartPak’s Natural Vitamin E Pellets) at the maintenance dose of 2,500 IU daily. He went on it as we thought we may have been dealing with some muscle issues.

Long story short, I took him off after being on it 6-7 months as I didn’t notice much difference at all and thought I could save the money. Since he’s been off it, about a month, he’s been lame. Coincidence? Probably. It’s not just been muscle stiffness I don’t think but I’m going to bite the bullet and put him back on it for now.

He’s been worked up by the vet (to the tune of $700) and we’ve pretty much ruled out soft tissue issues (ultrasounds were all clean). We think it’s his confirmation catching up to him (he’s built very straight through his hind legs). We took new radiographs and his left stifle is pretty darn arthritic now as well as his right hock. He’s already feeling much better and we have a plan in place to get him even more comfortable.

What Vitamin E supplement is better? I know some forms of Vitamin E have a better absorption rate…

He could either:
Go back on SmartPak’s natural Vitamin E at 2,500 IU daily for $1.07 / day. It’s also pelleted in form which makes me feel better about him getting it all…

Or, he could go on Elevate by Kentucky Performance Horse at 2,000 IU daily for just under $1.00 / day.

Does the Elevate have a higher absorption rate? Is it worth having to order elsewhere (he get’s other supplements in SmartPaks) and to go to a powered supplement? TIA!

When I gave Vitamin E I just bought the liqui-caps at the local pharmacy and threw however many I needed in with the grain. My horse ate them just fine for several years. BTW, I used Nature Made Natural E.

Christa

I do the same thing as Christa P (but I order the capsules from vitacost.com instead). Just throw them in his meals, mix it up and he eats it no problem.

I use elevate because I have epm horses and vitamin e has been shown to help them. I love elevate myself. Never tried smart pack.

Any natural vitamin E that the horse will eat is fine. Liquid is recommended for EPM horses as it is more easily absorbed. It is also much more expensive.

If I am understanding this IU thing correctly, it’s based on bioavailability not mass. So different amounts of the d-l mixture, the d, and the acetate comprise one IU. Again, if I’ve figured this out right it shouldn’t matter which you use as long as the IU amount is the same. At least for humans, which is what I assume the IU is based on. YMMV if you’re a horse.

I would love to hear other opinions on this.

BTW, my vet said 5000 IU for a horse with possible spinal stenosis and arthritic changes in the neck. But not to go over that since it’s a fat-soluble vitamin and thud not excreted as easily as a water-soluble one

I also just buy the natural vitamin E pills made for humans and toss them in. My two will eat it right out of my hand like a candy. After I did the math most cost effective was the Costco natural vitamin E - I can get 90 pills of 400 IU for $18. So at 2,400 IU per day the cost would be about $1.20.

This would be slightly more than the smartpak version but 1. I can’t get smartpacks (in Canada); 2. I feel like the quality/stability (and hence the bioabsorption) of the human grade vitamin E is better.

To answer your original question, I also do what multiple others do and buy 1000 IU capsules at RiteAid.

We think it’s his confirmation catching up to him (he’s built very straight through his hind legs). We took new radiographs and his left stifle is pretty darn arthritic now as well as his right hock. He’s already feeling much better and we have a plan in place to get him even more comfortable.

Are you sure he even needs Vitamin E because of a deficiency? It sounds like general arthritis and you may be spending money on Vitamin E when it’s not necessary. Maybe I missed where he was tested and found to need the Vit E?

I just had this conversation with my vet yesterday, as my horse’s levels are low. Elevate is more expensive but I really like that it is in liquid form. I know that he is definitely getting it as it coats his grain.
I actually just checked, and based on the required amounts (2wells), I think the monthly pricing of Elevate is comparable to Smartpak.

Definitely go with the natural Vit E (the “d”, not the “d-l”). I’ve been feeding these for years (2,000 IUs/day), and my horses eat them whole just fine in their feed:
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/swanson-premium-vitamin-e-mixed-tocopherols-1000-iu-250-sgels

I started with the vitamin e from elevate in the ws formula. After a couple months I switched to the powder version they have for maintenance and it seems to work well.

Thanks for all the replies everyone! It seems like going with the human capsules is perfectly fine as long as it’s the natural Vitamin E. It is significantly cheaper than using any of the supplements marketed for horses. Have any of you guys tested your horse’s Vitamin E levels after being on these supplements?

And my horse was tested last fall and fell within the “normal” parameters but my vet is a large advocate for supplementing Vitamin E. Also, my horse has a hard time building up muscle and we think he’s perhaps very mildly tied up a time or two. So we have him on the high fat type diet. And to add even more fat, gets between 1 1/2 cups - 2+ cups of oil a day (depending on time of year). I know it’s recommended to feed additional Vitamin E when horses are getting that much oil in their diet.

It looks like I could feed 3000 IU daily of the capsules for < $0.50 / day. How much do you guys feed your horses? And why are you supplementing Vitamin E (EPSM, PSSM)? Thanks :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Dressage.For.Life.;7077374]Thanks for all the replies everyone! It seems like going with the human capsules is perfectly fine as long as it’s the natural Vitamin E. It is significantly cheaper than using any of the supplements marketed for horses. Have any of you guys tested your horse’s Vitamin E levels after being on these supplements?

And my horse was tested last fall and fell within the “normal” parameters but my vet is a large advocate for supplementing Vitamin E. Also, my horse has a hard time building up muscle and we think he’s perhaps very mildly tied up a time or two. So we have him on the high fat type diet. And to add even more fat, gets between 1 1/2 cups - 2+ cups of oil a day (depending on time of year). I know it’s recommended to feed additional Vitamin E when horses are getting that much oil in their diet.

It looks like I could feed 3000 IU daily of the capsules for < $0.50 / day. How much do you guys feed your horses? And why are you supplementing Vitamin E (EPSM, PSSM)? Thanks :)[/QUOTE]

This topic was timely, as it was suggested that I start supplementing a couple of mine and I can answer some of your questions and have some of my own, if you don’t mind. The Platinum Performance brand was recommended by 2 vets I know. ??? Comments, thoughts??? A couple years ago I did have blood pulled on one of mine who was both Vitamin E and Selenium deficient. Over the months, I retested and he came up just fine, so I know the PP supplement worked. Having said that, I too was looking for a more cost effective way to feed it. A gal at the barn supplements her EPM horse with 10,000 IU of Vitamin E!!! She gets it through Santa Cruz Animal Hospital Catalog.

Mine get Vitamin E (2000 IU/day, human capsules as per my earlier post) after the recommendation to do so, in that amount, from Dr. Eleanor Kellon, an equine nutritionist I came across after my mare was diagnosed with insulin resistance in 2005.

Mine was tested due to some crankiness under saddle. He was positive for Lyme and had low E levels, so we’re treating both. My vet is recommending a loading dose of 6,000 iu until his numbers come up.

I had mine tested and he was low on Vitamin E and Selenium. I got some Elevate from my vet and a Vit E/Sel supplement. I used up the Elevate and kept him on the E/Sel. The next test showed to Selenium closer to normal, but the E still very low. I tested again after I had him on the Gelcaps for awhile and the E levels were normal as was the selenium. He stayed on a very low dose of the E/Sel and about 2000 IU of E daily for several years.

BTW, all of the testing was several years ago so I don’t remember the exact timeline. I lost the horse 2 1/2 years ago :cry: at 18 and he was around 7 or 8 when first tested.

Christa

I was doing what so many others were doing, getting natural vitamin e capsules from rite aid (they go on sale- buy one get one free) and putting those in his goodie bags. Worked for awhile, until it was winter and my barn help noticed that my horse left the capsules in his bucket and wouldn’t eat them. They may be cheap, but if he isn’t eating them then whats the point?

I use Horsetech products, and they make a powdered natural vitamin e that I am now using. For your 2500 iu dose, I think it works out to like 63 cents a day. Might be worth looking into.

[QUOTE=Christa P;7076900]When I gave Vitamin E I just bought the liqui-caps at the local pharmacy and threw however many I needed in with the grain. My horse ate them just fine for several years. BTW, I used Nature Made Natural E.

Christa[/QUOTE]

Me too!!!