Glycemic Response in Thoroughbred Mares

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Virginia Tech

The objective of this study is to determine if fat as an energy source, and fiber in a pasture supplement will be beneficial when compared to a concentrate high in sugar and starch. In the first experiment, 12 pregnant and lactating mares were used in three different glycemic response tests to determine the effect of feeds on pregnant mares. The mares were fed a pelleted concentrate (PC) three months before foaling; after foaling they were divided into two groups and fed a feed high in sugar and starch (SS), or a feed high in fat and fiber (FF). The second experiment, used the same 12 mares (R mares) and 10 barren mares (B mares) in three different tests to determine the effects of the feeds, season and reproductive stage. A series of blood samples was collected via a jugular catheter from 0 to 390 min after consuming a meal. Glucose and insulin baseline and peak values, increments and areas under curves (AUC) were compared by ANOVA. For the first experiment, responses to PC did not differ between the two groups. Peak plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were higher in SS group than in FF during both early and late lactation. Glucose and insulin AUCs were higher in SS than in FF during both early and late lactation. In the second experiment, peak glucose increments had differences for the main effects feed, pregnancy and season, and interactions feed by pregnancy and feed by season. The glucose AUC values showed similar differences for the main effects and the interaction feed by pregnancy. Peak insulin increments had a difference for feed and pregnancy, but not the interactions. Insulin AUCs also revealed a difference between feed and pregnancy, and also for season, and the interaction feed by pregnancy. These results indicate that metabolic fluctuations are moderated by the replacement of sugar and starch with fat and fiber. This replacement may reduce the risk of certain digestive and metabolic disorders.

Glucose, Horse, Dietary fat, Dietary fiber, Insulin