Remember the research about fructans and it’s association with laminitis in horses? There may be a solution – in hops!
When sugars – like those in “cool season” grasses – are metabolized into frucans, lactic acidosis and endotoxemia (from the gut permeability) can result from the sudden metabolic pressure, which then causes breakdown of the hoof basement membrane which then results in detachment of the inner hoof wall from the bone underneath.
Researchers at the University of Kentucky looked into the possibility of stopping the production of fructans, which would help prevent the associated laminitis. They knew that hops – yes, the basic ingredient in beer making! – contain β-acids which are known to have antimicrobial properties. They hypothesized that the β-acid would control fructan fermentation (ironic, eh?).
So, the β-acid in the hops showed real promise in controlling the fermentation of fructans, which is associated with pasture-associated laminitis. These are just preliminary results, but it shows real promise for treatment to prevent this type of laminitis.