Flax For Pets And Livestock
Flax is not only great for human health, it also contributes to good health in animals and is being used more and more as an ingredient in animal feed nutrition. See Canada Flax Council:
From improved fertility rates to strengthened immune systems; Flax helps producers get more value out of their investment in feed supplements.
Flaxseed is enabling retailers in Canada, the U.S.A. and Japan to offer healthier Omega 3-Eggs, Omega-3 Pork, Omega-3 Beef/ Chicken/ Turkey and Omega-3 Pet Foods.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are very important to animals (and humans) because they make up the molecules in the structure and activity of the membranes of all cells throughout the body.
Cattle: Flax in cattle rations is being investigated as a means of improving the immune systems of calves. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids to cattle may be in preventing young animals from developing infections.
Hogs: Increased number of piglets born over a span of three pregnancies. Piglets born to sows on a flaxseed were shown to be heavier and healthier, with a lower mortality rate. Omega 3 Pork now being marketed in North America from pigs fed flaxseed in their diets.
Up to 5% flax can be added to hog rations to increase the omega-3 fatty acids in the pork and improve sow performance. In 1995, South Dakota State University researchers tested feeding flax in a corn-soybean meal ration during the final 25 days of finishing. The results showed that the omega-3 fatty acids had increased. University of Manitoba researchers replaced some of the soybean meal and tallow and added 5% flax to gestation and lactation sow rations. The study showed that the sows fed flax delivered more piglets at farrowing, that the piglets had heavier weaning rates, and that the sows lost less weight during lactation and rebred sooner.(Murphy, 2003 <http://attra.ncat.org/new_pubs/attra-pub/Hogs.html?id=NorthDakota>)
* See more studies regarding flax and swine rations below.
Poultry: Flaxseed has been introduced to chicken feed to produce ‘Omega 3 Eggs’. 'Omega-3 enriched eggs are produced by laying hens that are fed a diet containing 10% - 20% milled flax. Because flax is higher in the Omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid, and lower in saturated fatty acids than other grains, the eggs produced are higher in total Omega-3s. Omega-3 eggs look, cook, and taste just like regular eggs, and the total fat content and cholesterol levels remain similar. Adding Flax to diet also increases level of...
* See bottom of page for more information on Flax, Poultry and Omega 3 Eggs.
Equine Feeds: Many horse breeders add Flax supplements to equine diets, helping to eliminate dull, dry coats and the itching and scratching that accompany them. Race horse owners also like Flax as it helps to increase the strength and stamina of their horses.
Pet Foods: Flaxseed is being added to pet foods in order to balance the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid ratio which may promote healthy skin and hair. Flax also has Lignans - considered to be safeguards against tumor formation in pets.
“…in practice, I have seen great benefits in my patients, both from ground flax seed and flax seed oil, such as improved skin and coat and obviously better energy and well-being.” ~ Dr. Jean Hofve (referring to the benefits of Flax Seed/ Oil for cats and dogs)
Opportunities for Flax in Omega-3 Production
by Diane H. Morris, PhD, RD
Imagine hearing your doctor say, “Enjoy eggs for breakfast every morning and reduce your risk
of heart disease.” This medical advice may sound like a joke compared to the recommendations
by doctors 30 years ago, who suggested that high egg consumption contributed to heart disease.
However, the recent development of eggs as foods having preventative and health-benefitting
effects, above and beyond the human body’s basic nutritional needs, is a reality.
Why Add Flax to Laying Hen Rations?
People are paying close attention to the foods they eat, modifying their diets to maintain good health. The fat content of the diet is of particular interest to those concerned about heart disease. Health-conscious consumers are looking for food products which contain the important omega-3 fatty acids, and especially alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in which flax is so rich.
The fat composition of flax is unique. It contains a very high content of polyunsaturated fat, and 57% ALA.
Including flax in the rations of the laying hen alters the fatty acid composition of the egg yolk, increasing its omega-3 fatty acid content. The resulting enriched eggs provide a convenient way for people to improve their omega-3 intake and achieve better health.
Using flax as 10 or 20% of a poultry ration can increase the ALA content of egg yolk fat from 0.4% in the ordinary egg to 4.6% and 8.9%, respectively.
OMEGA-3 EGGS: ONE EGG A DAY
MANILA, November 25, 2004 (STAR) By Rocel C. Felix - Egg as a health food? Yes, it has been for years in developed economies like the United States and the European Union. Soon, similar health products made from eggs will be available to most Filipino consumers.
Zang noted the economic gains in producing Omega-3 enriched eggs which offer a taste and quality similar to regular eggs. He said its enhanced nutrient contents, appeals to the growing number of fitness-conscious consumers.
DHA is considered to be good for brain development especially for growing children and helps strengthen immune functions. Also, Omega-3 enriched egg is a cheap substitute for other more expensive Omega-3 rich foods such as fish, shellfish and seafood.
Note: This article refers to laying hens that are fed daily with imported feeds containing Omega-3 - there is no mention of flaxseed. Research seems to indicate that feeding flaxseed to hens would be a more economical way of achieving an even higher level of Omega 3 ALA.
...the eggs you find in the supermarket labeled “Omega-3 enriched” (or something along those lines) is a new type of egg. Hens producing these eggs live in the commercial operation but they receive flaxseed (or occasionally a fish-based supplement) as part of their daily ration. Hens typically receive a diet of about 10% flaxseed. An egg from a hen on such a diet will typically contain over 200 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids, including about 75 milligrams of DHA. (A commercial egg has about 40 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids per egg.)
The ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids of 'Omega-3 Eggs' is about about 2 to 1 – approaching the dietary ideal of 1 to 1. Commercial eggs have a ratio of about 20 to 1.
Novel food information on: Omega-3 enhanced pork and products derived therefrom
The assessment conducted by Food Directorate evaluators considered: how the Omega-3 enhanced pork that is the subject of this notification is enhanced in omega 3 fatty acids; how its composition and nutritional quality compare to traditional pork meats;
The meat is enhanced in omega-3 fatty acids by the intentional addition of ALA rich sources to pig feed rations. In this case, flaxseed is added to the ration. Some of the ALA from flaxseed is incorporated into the lipids of the pig, especially in fatty tissues.
Data indicated that both control and test groups of pigs produced pork meat containing ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), but the test group produced levels in the fat that were at least 2 times higher than that of controls. Increasing the flaxseed content of the pig diet resulted in decreased levels of total fats, including saturated fats, increased ALA in both the loin tissue and back fat and decreased levels of n-6 fats.
* The following four studies done on flax and swine at the South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota show that when pigs are fed a diet containing flax, there is a significant increase in the amount of Omega-3 fatty acid found in the pork.
1. Characterization of muscles from boars, barrows, and gilts slaughtered at 100 or 110 kilograms: differences in fat, moisture, color, water-holding capacity, and collagen. Nold RA, et al, J Anim Sci 1999 Jul;7(7):1746-54
2. Fatty Acid composition of commercially manufactured omega-3 enriched pork products, haddock, and mackerel. Specht-Overholt S, et al, J Anim Sci 1997 Sep;75(9):2335-43
3. Effects of ground flaxseed in swine diets on pig performance and on physical and sensory characteristics and Omega-3 fatty acid content of port: II. Duration of 15% dietary flaxseed. Romans JR, et al, J Anim Sci 1995 Jul;73(7):1987-99
4. Effects of ground flaxseed in swine diets on pig performance and on physical and sensory characteristics and Omega-3 fatty acid content of pork: I. Dietary level of flaxseed. Romans JR, et al, J Anim Sci 1995 Jul;73(7):1982-6
Adding flaxseed to poultry feed rations increases the Omega-3 level in the eggs.
In two eggs, this level represents 140% of the Canadian RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of Omega-3 and 40% of the U.S. RDI (Recommended Dietary Intake) of folate for females and 25% of the RDI for B-12. Folate has been proven to help prevent birth defects. According to Drs. Sheila Schneider and Glenn Froming adding flaxseed to laying rations increased egg production from 88.9% in controls to 93% in the flax-fed group. [iii] Some producers report a decrease in flock death rate.
Egg producers can increase their market share by producing the most nutritious eggs in the Philippines and Asia. Producers in North America who feed flaxseed to their laying hens are able to list the Omega-3, folate, and B-12 content on the label or egg cartons. For example; we brought an egg carton along from Canada with the following description on the cover: OMEGA-3 EGGS - A Source of Omega 3 Polyunsaturates - Excellent Source of Vitamin E - And on the inside of the carton: Produced exclusively by hens fed a diet containing flaxseeds, these eggs are a source omega-3 polyunsaturates and an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12 and vitamin E. It also has Nutrition Facts information per 1 egg.
1. Stitt, Paul A. Therapeutic and Nutritive Flaxseed Composition and Methods Employing the Same. U.S. Patent # 5,069,903, Dec. 3, 1991.
2. Sim, J.S. and Cherian, G. Alpha-Linlenic Acid for Designing Poultry Products for Human Consumption: Canadian Designer Eggs and Nutritional Significance. Proceedings of the 55th Flax Institute, Fargo, North Dakota, 1994, p. 106-122.
3. Scheideler, S.E. and Froning, G.W. Dietary Flaxseed Improves Egg Production and Incorporation of Omega-3 Fatty Acid in Eggs. Proceedings of the 83rd, Annual Meeting of the Poultry Science Association. August 7-12, 1994, Abstract #148.
June 29, 2006 - News Release
The egg may have come first for Omega-3 enriched poultry products, but now the chicken isn’t far behind.
University of Guelph Animal and Poultry Science Prof. Steven Leeson has already enriched eggs with Omega-3 fatty acids, and is now leading an effort to do the same with poultry meat.
He’s identifying various poultry feed combinations that can be fed to chickens to add heart-healthy fatty acids to the animals’ meat, while also keeping it tasty. The research is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
“We’ve shown it’s possible to feed poultry Omega-3 fatty acids and have the nutrients expressed in the meat,” said Leeson. “Now our challenge is to help farmers produce this enriched meat efficiently, while maintaining quality taste.”
He’s found the poultry became sufficiently enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids after 10 to 14 days on a flax seed diet. At this stage, the nutrients build up in the body fat and once present, are constantly reused in cycles for growth and energy.
Lesson is now balancing the amount of Omega-3 and DHA fatty acids in the enriched meat to make sure its enhanced nutritive quality doesn’t interfere with taste.
DHA is known to improve human visual and learning abilities, boost immune function and relieve symptoms of some psychological disorders and inflammatory diseases. Leeson says adding fish oil to poultry feed gives humans who consume the poultry an alternative DHA source.
He predicts a market for nutrient-enhanced poultry meat in sales of whole chickens. Unlike most meat cuts that are too lean to store enough fatty acids, whole chickens contain much of the original fat content, which is where DHA and other Omega-3 fatty acids are stored.
Effect of Flax Seed Enriched Diet on Omega-3 Content of Chicken Meat
The purpose of this Example is to demonstrate the increase in Omega-3 content in chicken meat when chickens are fed an Omega-3 rich diet by including a raw ground flax seed composition in the chicken feed.
Forty one-day old meat-type chickens were randomly assigned to two groups. The experimental group was fed a diet that contained 20 percent fortified flax seed composition. The other group of chickens were fed an isocaloric and isonitrogenous diet made without flax.
The compositions of the control and experimental diets are shown in the table below. Both diets contained 20% protein, 3100 kcal/kg energy, 1.0% calcium, 0.42% available phosphorus, 0.75% methionine plus cysteine and 1.30% lysine.
Diet Formulation (Weight Percent)
Corn 55.18 48.64
Soybean 34.42 26.01
Limestone 1.52 1.53
Lard 5.63 0
Wheat Middling 0 0.47
Fortified Flax Seed
Methionine and cysteine
Lysine 0.20 0.35
Salt 0.50 0.50
1 Fortified flax seed composition contained 200 ppm of zinc as zinc
sulfate plus 100 ppm vitamin B6.
2 Premix vitamins: (MnO, 5 grams; Choline chloride (60%), 107 grams;
Niacin (50%), 3.2 grams; Pantothenate (25%), 2.4 grams; Riboflavin (220
mg/g), 1.5 grams; B12 (.66 mg/g), 2.0 grams; Vitamin A, 45 grams;
Vitamin D, 6.5 grams; Vitamin E, 2 grams; Corn, 825.4 grams.)
The chickens from both groups were housed in battery brooders for 4 weeks under identical environmental conditions. After 4 weeks, the chickens, 4 weeks old, were weighed and then sacrificed. The control chickens averaged 600 grams in weight. The experimental chickens averaged 540 grams. This difference in weight is not significant.
Samples of thigh, breast and liver were taken from the sacrificed chickens for fatty acid analysis. The results are shown in Table 1 below. Also, the radius bone in the wing was analyzed for breaking strength. The results are shown in Table 2 below.
Breast Meat Liver
.89 0 0 .98 .38 1.00 .61 .44 1.83
.44 .36 8.95 1.33 1.07 4.16 3.85 4.97
910% 350% 7% 680% 875% 271%
Average 1365% 581% 450%
1 Results are expressed as percent by weight of total fat.
2 C18:3 3 = alpha linolenic acid.
3 C20:5 3 = eicosopentenoic acid.
4 C22:6 3 = docosohexenoic acid.
The results shown in Table 1 indicate that feeding a diet that contains 20 percent flax seed (4.4 percent linolenic acid) causes a substantial increase in all three types of Omega-3 fatty acids in thigh meat, breast meat and the liver. The increases averaged 800 percent. There was a 1365 percent increase in the thigh muscle, 581 percent increase in the breast muscle and a 450 percent increase in liver in total Omega-3 content compared to control samples.
Bone Breaking Strength
Control 23.8 pounds
Experimental 29.7 pounds
The results shown in Table 2 indicate a 24.7% increase in bone strength in the Experimental group.
The bone strength tests were carried out according to the procedure of T. D. Crenshaw as published in the Journal of Animal Science, volume 53, No. 3, 1981, pages 827 to 835.
The fatty acid analysis was carried out according to University of Minnesota Analytical Testing Procedures, described below.
Samples of thigh, breast and liver were taken from the sacrificed chickens for fatty acid analysis. Samples from ten birds from each group were pooled, homogenized, and then frozen until analyzed.
A 1 gram sample of tissue was homogenized with 50 ml of chloroform/methanol (2:1. v/v), filtered and washed with NaCl. The chloroform layer containing the lipid extract was removed and taken to dryness under a gentle stream of nitrogen. A 10 mg sample of total lipid was transesterified with 5% HCl methanol at 85° C. for 1-1/2 hours to form the fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). The FAME's were extracted with 30-60° C. petroleum ether and then concentrated for gas chromatographic analysis by removing the solvent under nitrogen.
A Packard 428 gas chromatograph equipped with a flame ionization detector was used to separate the FAME's. A 50 m by 0.2 mm fused silica-bonded FFAP (free fatty acid phase of derivatized carbonax nitroterephthalic acid polymer) capillary column was used to separate FAME's from 12:0 to 22:6?3. The temperature was programmed from 190 to 220° C. at 2° C./minute. The injector temperature was 250° C., and the detector temperature was 270° C. Helium was the carrier gas with a column flow of 1.4 ml/minute and a split ratio of 1:65. Peaks were identified by comparison with authentic FAME standards. Peak areas were calculated by a microprocessor.
FlaxAsia Trading International 2008
The present invention also provides an animal feed blend comprising: (1) animal feed, and (2) the above-described stable, edible flax seed composition. The animal feed blend is produced by mixing the above-described stable, dry, edible flax seed composition with conventional animal feed at the rate of from about one part to about 35 parts by weight of flax seed composition to about 100 parts by weight of animal feed. A more preferred range is from about 5 to about 25 parts by weight of the flax seed composition to 100 parts by weight of animal feed. The most preferred range is from about 10 to about 20 parts by weight flax seed composition to about 100 parts by weight of animal feed.
The animal feed blend is fed to the animals in the amounts and at intervals commensurate with their normal feeding habits.
In a preferred embodiment, the animal feed blend contains ground raw flax seed fortified with vitamin B-6 and/or zinc.
The animal feed blend is useful for all types of animals, including carnivors such as cats, dogs and minks, monogastrics such as horses and pigs, avians such as chickens and turkeys, and even fish.
The animals can be fed the flax seed composition from birth to death. Further, many desirable effects of the flax seed composition can be found in offspring by feeding the flax seed composition to the pregnant mother beginning as early as conception. The preferred time is to start feeding as young as possible so that the linolenic acid will be in abundance for the development of nerve, brain, and vitreous humour, where the highest concentrations of linolenic acid and its metabolites are normally found.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young domestic animals, ruminant or otherwise, which employ monogastric digestion, e.g., calves. The flax seed composition obtained through the process of the present invention when combined with conventional animal feed, e.g., a mixture of grains, dried animal products and other material, and then added to water in proportions readily determined by those skilled in the art of feeding animals when fed to calves, lambs or other young domestic animals provides a significant increase in shininess of the coat and bone development compared with that obtained with conventional milk substitutes.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young fur-bearing animals such as mink. The flax seed composition obtained by the process of the present invention when combined with conventional mink feed, e.g., a mixture of ground poultry, pork, and beef byproducts plus other materials, provides a significant increase in bone development, growth rate, nursing mink milk production and luxuriant coat development as compared with that obtained with regular mink feed.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young chickens, turkeys, geese and other avians. The flax seed composition obtained through the process of the present invention when combined with conventional poultry feed such as animal and vegetable materials and essential vitamins and minerals, when fed to chickens, turkeys and other birds provides significantly better developed birds, which have increased growth rates, stronger bones, higher Omega-3 content in the meat and other edible products such as eggs and lower cholesterol content in the eggs as compared with that obtained with conventional poultry feeds.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young domestic horses and mature horses. The flax seed composition obtained through the process of the present invention when combined with conventional horse feed, e.g. a mixture of oats, molasses, vitamins and minerals, when fed to pregnant mares and young colts provides a significant increase in size, growth rate, bone development and shiny coat of the colts and when fed to mature horses eliminates dandruff and makes the horse calmer, the bones stronger and the hooves less likely to split as compared with that obtained with regular, commercial horse feed.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young fish. The flax seed composition obtained through the process of the present invention combined with conventional feed, e.g., a mixture of animal and vegetable matter, provides a significant increase in the Omega-3 content in the muscle tissue, and more disease resistance as compared with that obtained with regular, commercial fish feed.
The animal feed blend is especially useful for feeding young pigs and other young domestic animals. The product obtained through the present invention when combined with conventional feed, e.g., a mixture of animal and vegetable products and vitamins and minerals, when fed to pigs or other young domestic animals provides a significant increase in bone development and a shinier coat, and more Omega-3 in the muscle tissue as compared with that obtained with commercial feed for these animals.
The animal feed is especially useful for feeding laying hens to improve the strength of the shell of the eggs and to increase egg production when combined with conventional feed, e.g. a mixture of animal and vegetable products and vitamins and minerals.
As already mentioned, the amount of animal feed blend fed to the animals in order to obtain the above-described benefits therefrom is the same as that fed to the animals conventionally. Further, the number of daily feedings is the same as the conventional number of daily feedings.
The present invention also provides a method for improving the general health and appearance of animals and increasing Omega-3 content of animal tissue comprising administering orally to a subject a biologically effective amount of the flax seed composition.
In a preferred embodiment, the bone strength of animals is improved, and in an especially preferred embodiment, the bone strength of chickens and turkeys is improved.
In a second preferred embodiment, the subject is a pregnant animal and the general health of the pregnant animal's progeny is improved.
According to this second preferred embodiment, it is especially preferred if the pregnant animal is a pregnant mare. The progeny have improved bone strength, size and conformation and also an increased growth rate relative to progeny of pregnant mares not administered the flax seed composition of the present invention.
In a third preferred embodiment, the method improves the strength of hooves of hooved animals. The method is especially useful for improving the strength of horse hooves.
In a fourth preferred embodiment, the method increases the growth rate of animals. The method is especially useful for increasing the growth rate of minks and chickens.
In a fifth preferred embodiment the method improves the silkiness and the sheen of animal fur and/or hide.
The method is especially preferable for improving the silkiness and sheen of horse and mink fur and hide.
In a sixth preferred embodiment, the method increases the strength of egg shells of avians.
The method is especially perferable for increasing the egg shell strength of laying hens.
In a seventh preferred embodiment, the method increases the egg production of avians.
The method is especially preferable for increasing the egg production of laying hens.
Further, Omega-3 is believed, but not definitely established, to improve animal health by being converted to prostaglandins that act as hormones to control metabolic functions in all cells. Thus it is believed to be beneficial to optimize the amount of linolenic acid being given an animal. This also benefits humans that consume the edible animal products, because the edible tissues from animals fed the flax seed compositions contains increased levels of linolenic acid and its metabolic products, DHA and EPA.
Accordingly, an eighth preferred embodiment of the method increases the Omega-3 content of edible animal products.
The method is especially preferable for increasing the Omega-3 content of chicken meat, laying hen eggs, turkey meat, fish meat and pork.
A ninth preferred embodiment of the method decreases the cholesterol content of avian eggs.
In all of the embodiments of the method, it is preferred that the flax seed composition be fortified with zinc and/or vitamin B-6.
In the above method for improving the general health and appearance of animals and increasing Omega-3 content of animal tissue and in all of the above-described specific embodiments of the method, the biologically effective amount of the flax seed composition is best expressed in terms of the parts by weight of flax seed composition per 100 parts by weight of animal feed fed to the animals in amounts and at intervals commensurate with their normal feeding habits. When expressed in this manner, the biologically effective amounts are the same for all animals and are those already set forth above, i.e., from about one part to about 35 parts by weight of flax seed composition to about 100 parts by weight of animal feed, more preferably from about 5 to about 25 parts by weight of flax seed composition to about 100 parts by weight of animal feed, and most preferably from about 10 to about 20 parts by weight flax seed composition to about 100 parts by weight of animal feed.
However, by reference to the above, one skilled in the art can readily determine dosages in terms of g flax seed composition per kg of body weight for different animals at different ages.
For example, the following are suitable dosages in terms of g flax seed (g Flax) per kg body weight for chickens, horses and minks.
FLAX CONSUMPTION LEVEL
g Flax/kg Body Weight
Day Old 2 weeks 4 weeks
Ideal 100 50 20 10 4
Widest 10 to 200
10 to 150
3 to 100
1 to 50
0.5 to 20
25 to 150
20 to 100
5 to 50
3 to 25
1 to 10
Most 50 to 100
40 to 60 10 to 30
5 to 15
2 to 6
g Flax/kg Body Weight
Mature Pregnant and
Colt Horses Nursing Horses
Ideal 1.0 .3 .6
.1 to 3 .05 to 1.5
.5 to 3
.2 to 2 .10 to 1.0
.1 to 2
.5 to 1.5
.20 to 0.5
.3 to 1.0
g Flax/kg Body Weight
0 to 3 3 to 6 6 Mos. and Older
Months Months (Breeding Animals)
Ideal 6.0 4.0 5.0
1 to 30 0.5 to 25 1 to 30
2 to 20 1 to 15 2 to 20
3 to 10 2 to 8 2 to 10
The present invention also provides a method for improving the general health and appearance of human beings and increasing Omega-3 content of human being tissue comprising administering orally to a human being a biologically effective amount of the stable dry edible flax seed composition.
When administered to human beings, the flax seed composition of the present invention improves bone strength, the sheen of hair and skin, and lowers blood pressure.
Additionally, the Omega-3 content of the milk of nursing mothers is increased by administering the flax seed composition to the nursing mothers.
In order to achieve these effects, the flax seed composition is consumed in a daily amount of from about 0.01 g to about 2 g per kg of body weight, preferably from about 0.1 to about 0.5 g per kg of body weight, and especially preferably from about 0.2 g to about 0.3 g per kg of body weight.
Further, the flax seed composition can be consumed as is or mixed with various foods.
Preferably, the flax seed composition is fortified with zinc and/or vitamin B-6, especially if such are not otherwise provided in the diet.
Flax Seed Meal - For Healthier Dog Food
Flax seed meal is the richest plant source of antioxidant lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids that both help support an active immune system. The high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seed meal also help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Flax seed meal also has a very high level of highly digestible protein and essential amino acids needed to keep dogs fit and healthy. In addition, flax seed meal contains high amounts of fiber (aids in digestion), Vitamin E, Folic Acid, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and is extremely high in the minerals Potassium, Calcium and Phosphorus.