What is camelina oil?
Camelina (Camelina Sativa) - also known as wild flax, German sesame, or Siberian oilseed - is an ancient oleaginous (oil-bearing) plant from the Cruciferae family, which has been domesticated and extensively used in Europe for several thousand years. The plant has small yellow flowers scattered along its stem and fruiting cluster can contain up to 20 seeds. The seed oil of Camelina in Omega Balance EQ contains an exceptional amount (up to 45%) of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a unique antioxidant complex making the oil very stable and resistant to heat and rancidity. Camelina oil is perfectly suitable for use as a well-balanced omega-3 supplement. Combined with a delicious nutty flavor, this extraordinary blend of beneficial polyunsaturated fatty acids and high oxidative stability makes Omega Balance EQ the overall best, versatile source of both heart-healthy omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants, including tocopherols, carotenoids, and phosphatides.
Camelina seeds produce a golden-colored oil. Rich in omega-3 and antioxidants, primarily vitamin E (total tocopherols 660 mg/kg), its vitamin E content is among the highest of all natural tocopherol sources, very well absorbed by the horse's digestive system. Comparatively, flax seed oil contains only trace amounts of vitamin E (antioxidant), which causes rapid deterioration and oxidation.
While supplying almost as much omega-3 as flax oil, it is highly stable and abundant in vitamin E and other natural antioxidants, as well as beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids. As a result, it does not promote the formation of harmful free radicals. On the contrary, it helps resist their destructive effects by providing powerful antioxidant protection. Camelina oil has a shelf life of 12 to 15 months without refrigeration.
Camelina oil is highly unsaturated (> 90%) and is rich in polyunsaturated fatty
acids (57.5%) of omega-3 and omega-6, two essential fatty acids that must be
supplied in the horse's daily diet.
The total amount of omega-3 in camelina oil is about 39%.
The total omega-6 fatty acids is approximately 18% (with 17% linoleic acid)
which gives it an exceptional ratio of omega-3/omega-6 of 2.2: 1.
Better than Flax!
Features & comparison
Flaxseed is the most important plant source of omega-3. It contains up to 57% of omega-3 (alpha-linolenic acid - ALA). Unfortunately, just like many other good things in life, flax oil has its downside. It oxidizes and loses its effectiveness quickly. The downside is that you have to cook or grind every time you supplement because once exposed to oxygen, flaxseed will go rancid fairly quickly. When it oxidizes, it begins a series of reactions that generate free radicals and reverse the benefits brought by the content of omega-3, damaging millions of molecules and cells in the body.
Yes, oxidation is, indeed, a major problem with flax oil. The oil is poor in natural antioxidants and starts going rancid as soon as it is pressed from the seeds. The body tries to stop these reactions with its own natural reserves of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, putting these reserves under an unnecessary and undesirable stress.
The table below shows an overview of the different oils used with their fat content and the percentage of the fatty acid composition. The ones mostly used with horses are:
Oxidation is a normal metabolic process that allows horses to transform the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins they devour in meals to energy-- energy to grow, perform, and reproduce. One unfortunate, although completely unavoidable, spin-off of oxidation is the creation of free radicals, compounds that have the potential to irreparably damage cells. If left unchecked, the oxidation that occurs at the cellular level in horses and other mammals can cause muscular fatigue severe enough to compromise performance. Antioxidants are important to counteract the damaging effects of oxidation and protects from free radicals.
In instances of strenuous exercise, natural stores of antioxidants have difficulty providing sufficient protection against the cascade of free radicals generated from aerobic metabolism, making it necessary to supplement antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds that help the horse battle cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. Common antioxidants include: vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium. Antioxidants are commonly used for support of muscle and general health, speeding recovery after exercise, support of immune function, and as adjunct therapy for horses with neurological challenges.