Study: Even Healthy Old Horses Have Increased Insulin Responses

This suggests old horses need an appropriate diet and management plan to help minimize the risks associated with insulin dysregulation, such as laminitis.
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Old horses
These study results suggest that old horses need an appropriate diet and management plan to help minimize the risks associated with insulin dysregulation, such as laminitis. | Photo: Courtesy Claire Dyett/Spillers

New research, conducted in collaboration with Spillers equine nutrition, shows that even healthy old horses have increased insulin responses compared to younger equids in response to a starch rich or starch and sugar rich meal.

This suggests that older horses, whether or not they have been diagnosed with insulin dysregulation, need an appropriate diet and management plan to help minimize the risks associated with insulin dysregulation such as laminitis.

The hormone insulin is produced by the pancreas. When insulin is released, cells (especially in muscle and the liver) are signaled to take up glucose from the blood. A high level of insulin in the blood (hyperinsulinemia) could be accompanied by insulin resistance (failure of cells to respond appropriately to insulin). This is why the term insulin dysregulation is now used; it refers collectively to excessive insulin responses to sugars, and/or fasting hyperinsulinaemia and/or insulin resistance

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