In-Hand Harmony

Vitamin E … and Lung Function?

SoybeanBottleAfter Tobias’ colic surgery (June, 2013), our veterinarian suggested that I feed Tobias safflower oil to provide him with vitamin E to help him regain his coat and overall health.  A while back, we had tried grinding flaxseed for Tobias prior to learning that he was highly allergic to it.  But safflower oil is expensive, I couldn’t find any information about it containing vitamin E, and I was concerned about Tobias’ allergy sensitivities.  We had already been feeding Tobias soybean meal for extra protein, so we have been adding soybean oil to Tobias’ rations for the vitamin E for about the past 12 months.

But I have also become aware that Tobias’ enthusiasm and endurance for rides or exercise has greatly diminished since last spring  (2014) — when his rehabilitation had resulted in wonderfully energetic and athletic movement — and have been trying to figure out why ever since.

“Considering the rate of affected people in this study, there could be 4.5 million individuals in the US with reduced lung function as a result of their high gamma-tocopheral [canola, soybean and corn oil] consumption.”

Tobias has received regular body work and I have tried different strategies to make our rides and exercise more fun and interesting for him — which has resulted in only moderate success.

I just finished reading a brief article in the October, 2014, “Clean Eating” magazine about canola, soybean and corn oils:

SoybeanIngredients“Those supposedly healthy oils you’ve been cooking with could be harming your lungs, according to a recent Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine study published in the journal Respiratory Research.  Canola, soybean and corn oils are high in vitamin E, but it’s the form of vitamin E found in those oils — gamma-tocopheral — that’s associated with reduced lung capacity, which senior author Joan Cook-Mills, PhD, says ‘is like an asthmatic condition’ where people take in less air that’s harder to expel and have more difficulty with breathing.  ‘Considering the rate of affected people in this study, there could be 4.5 million individuals in the US with reduced lung function,’ said Cook-Mills, ‘as a result of their high gamma-tocopheral consumption.'”

The Clean Eating article suggests, “Switch to sunflower and olive oils, which are rich in alpha-tocopherol, the form of vitamin E that’s associated with better lung function.”

Who would have guessed that certain types of Vitamin E would affect lung function?  It sure caught me by surprise, but I am glad for the information.  We will stop feeding Tobias soybean oil today and see what happens.

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