Rutgers – Ask the Expert – Pine Nut Oil to prevent Ulcers?

Question:  Would it be safe or effective to feed human grade pine nut oil to my horse to help prevent stomach ulcers?

Answer: Pine nut oil has not been specifically tested in horses. Since they can digest and utilize virtually all other edible oils tested, it may be safe in limited (no more than a cup or two per day maximum) quantities if it is introduced slowly to the diet. There has been research on the efficacy of other edible oils to help with equine gastric ulcers—they do not work. Horses’ stomachs are very different from humans’. The best nutritional strategies to prevent gastric ulcers are to give as much turnout as possible, provide free access to forages (with some alfalfa, which seems to be somewhat protective due to its high calcium content) and to limit grain as much as possible, avoiding large meals of sweet or other high-starch feeds.

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Dr. Carey Williams is the Extension Specialist in Equine Management for Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension. Her research focus is in equine nutrition and exercise physiology. She coordinates “Ask the Expert,” a feature of the Equine Science Center website.

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Medical Disclaimer

This material is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or treat any illness. Any recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement by the Equine Science Center or Rutgers University and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other products or firms.

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Got a question? Ask the Expert at esc.rutgers.edu