AbstractReasons for performing study:
Fatty acid supplementation could modulate erythrocyte membrane fluidity in horses at rest and during exercise, but information is lacking on the effect of exercise.Objectives:
To assess the effect of exercise with, and without, an oral antioxidant supplementation enriched with n-3 fatty acids on erythrocyte membrane fluidity (EMF) and fatty acid composition in eventing horses.Methods:
Twelve healthy and regularly trained horses were divided randomly into 2 groups:group Sreceived an oral antioxidant cocktail enriched in n-3 fatty acid (alphatocopherol, eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA] and docosahexaenoic acid [DHA]) whereasgroup Pwas placebotreated. At the end of 4 weeks, all horses performed a standardised exercise test (ET) under field conditions. Venous blood was sampled before starting treatment (TO), immediately before (T1) as well as 15 min (T2) and 24 h (T3) after ET. Spin labelled (16-DOXYL-stearic acid) red blood cell membranes were characterised using the relaxation correlation time (Tc in inverse proportion to EMF). Fatty acid composition (%) of the membrane was determined by gas-liquid chromatography.Results:
Supplementation did not induce changes in EMF (T1 vs. T0) but significant changes in membrane composition were observed and there were increases in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid PUFA, n-3/n-6 ratio, and total n-3 fatty acids. Exercise (T2 vs. T1) induced a significant decrease of EMF ingroup P(Tc: +19%, P<0.05) and nonsignificant decrease ingroup S(Tc: +5%), whereas membrane fatty acid composition did not change in either group. During the recovery period (T3 vs. T2), EMF decreased significantly ingroup S(Tc: +29%, P<0.05) and nonsignificantly ingroup P(Tc: +18%) without any significant changes in fatty acid composition.Conclusion and potential relevance:
An enriched oral antioxidant supplementation induced changes in membrane composition, which modulated the decrease in EMF induced by exercise. Long chain n-3 fatty acid supplementation might therefore be beneficial.