Amino Acids 101
Have you ever read your horse’s feed or supplement label’s list of ingredients and run across an unfamiliar ingredient? Some of those unfamiliar ingredients might be amino acids, an important part of your horse’s diet. Common amino acids added to equine feeds and supplements include lysine, threonine, methionine, tryptophan, and leucine.
Here’s what you need to know about these important compounds.
What are amino acids?
The term “amino acids” refers to a group of organic compounds that contain nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Protein is made up of amino acids strung together. Horses digest proteins and then use the amino acids to help grow and repair bodily tissues. There are 21 different amino acids that form proteins in the horse’s body, and horses must acquire nine of those from his diet. These nine amino acids are known as the indispensable or essential amino acids. The horse can synthesize the remaining amino acids from other dietary components containing carbon and
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