Recent research indicates that a diet high in both fiber and fat (FF diets) might benefit horses with low glucose tolerance.
Horses fed muesli-based FF diets and hay did not have increased glucose levels after feeding, according to an article in Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition by a team of European veterinary and agricultural researchers.
“Plasma glucose tended to decline following the intake of FF, which might be beneficial for equines with reduced glucose tolerance,” noted the researchers.
In the same study, horses fed an oat-based diet along with hay exhibited higher chewing frequency and consumed their food more quickly in addition to increased glucose levels.
A dietary change is one of several steps to take when a horse is suffering from insulin dysregulation or equine metabolic syndrome, in order to prevent further damage — including laminitis and other conditions that can result from improper insulin regulation.
“Any owner concerned that their horse might be suffering insulin dysregulation should consider supplements designed especially for the metabolic horse,” says Catherine Whitehouse, a nutrition advisor for Kentucky Equine Research.