Researchers from the University of Minnesota and Massey University in New Zealand have found that metabolomics, the study of molecules involved in cellular metabolism, may help detect equine metabolic syndrome (EMS) in at-risk horses, according to Horsetalk.

In order to test this, the researchers took serum samples of 20 Welsh ponies with and without insulin abnormalities. These samples provide a wide-scale view of biochemical components that can reveal more insight on EMS.

The baseline measures in these samples indicated differences in metabolites in three different EMS phenotypes: insulin response, obesity status and laminitis history. These metabolic differences in insulin and obesity potentially could be useful in identifying EMS early on.

“Our results clearly demonstrate the potential of serum metabolomics to provide insight into molecular pathophysiology and to define a metabolomic signature for EMS,” according to the study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

If EMS can be detected through metabolic profiling, it can be managed and treated earlier in at-risk horses order to provide the best outcome possible.

The full study can be read here.