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EDITOR’S NOTE: The information, ideas and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Led by a scientist at Michigan State University, a team of researchers evaluated the effects of a dietary supplement containing resveratrol and the amino acid leucine on insulin dysregulation in horses with equine metabolic syndrome (EMS).
Fifteen horses with naturally occurring EMS were treated for 6 weeks with weight, body condition and several metabolic factors, including insulin levels, measured following an oral sugar test both before and after treatment with the supplement. The horses were maintained on a hay diet low in nonstructural carbohydrates throughout the study, with the supplement provided in a small amount of grain.
The supplement proved to be palatable, and no adverse effects were noted during the study. Horses showed significant weight loss but no change in body condition or regional adiposity following treatment. Insulin levels were lower in 10 of the 15 horses with four recategorized from having insulin dysregulation to normal function. This study indicates resveratrol and leucine worked synergistically to positively affect insulin metabolism in horses with EMS. The authors suggest this supplement could help prevent laminitis, which is a common problem in horses with EMS.