Vitamin E is a regulatory vitamin and an important antioxidant. It protects cells from damage by oxidation from “free radicals”, particularly during or after exercise. It is important in hormone function, immunity and cell structure. A vitamin E deficiency can cause white muscle disease, infertility and inability to nurse in foals.
Vitamin E is important for animals under stress, as it has a joint effect with selenium to keep the immune system strong, and also protects vitamins A and C so they can be utilised most efficiently. Vitamin E levels are high in fresh spring grass, but low in conserved forages such as hay and baleage, especially in the winter months.