Support Stallion Fertility with Targeted SupplementationBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · February 15, 2016
Optimum fertility for stallions can be supported by correct nutrition and targeted supplementation with specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 (long-chain) fatty acids.
Selenium is important for testicular function. It is a component of the antioxidant glutathione peroxidase, and is also required for testosterone production. Selenium has a relatively narrow range between the daily requirement and toxicity levels, with stallions requiring approximately 3 mg/d. Insufficient dietary selenium can lead to lower fertility because of poor chromatin condensation in the horse’s DNA. Preserve™ PS provides superior antioxidant protection with natural-source vitamin E, organic selenium, vitamin C, and magnesium.
The reproductive organs are susceptible to free-radical or oxidative damage because they contain large amounts of fatty acids in their cell membranes. Fertilization is highly dependent on membrane integrity, so healthy antioxidant defense is vital. Supplementation with natural-source vitamin E such as that found in Nano•E® has resulted in increased total sperm output, concentration, and motility in other species as well as reduced DNA fragmentation.
Semen contains a large amount of fatty acids, mainly omega-3s and omega-6s. These components are important in sperm motility, sensitivity to cold shock, and fertilization capacity. Stallions supplemented with the omega-3 fatty acids found in EO•3™ have shown increases in total motility, progressive motility, and rapid motility of sperm. These changes were most evident in semen that had been cooled and stored for 48 hours. Other results were sperm concentrations that were almost doubled in supplemented stallions, and better sperm motility in frozen-thawed semen.