Suffolk, United Kingdom
Suffolk, United Kingdom

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PubMed | Independent Equine Nutrition, Rossdales Equine Hospital and Lane College
Type: | Journal: Equine veterinary journal | Year: 2016

Birthweight of Thoroughbred foals has increased in recent years. It is unknown whether this is associated with increased broodmare obesity or endocrine dysfunction.To determine insulin, leptin and triglyceride concentrations in Thoroughbred mares throughout gestation and investigate their association with obesity and foal birthweight.Cohort study.66 mares were included from 40 d post-breeding. Body condition score (BCS), weight and blood samples were obtained every 60 d throughout gestation. Serum/plasma insulin, leptin and triglyceride concentrations and foal birthweight were recorded. Associations between hormone/ triglyceride concentration with BCS, stage of gestation and birthweight were analysed using a linear mixed effects model.Serum insulin concentrations were greater at 1-60 d (4.31 uIU/ml) compared to 241-300 d (3.13 uIU/ml) and 61-120 d (5.33 uIU/ml) compared to 181-240, 241-300, 301-360 d (3.78, 3.13, 3.37 uIU/ml) gestation (p<0.05). There was no significant hyperinsulinaemia and no association of insulin concentration with BCS. Leptin concentration was greater at 181-240 d (2.28 ug/l, p<0.0001) compared to all other time points and correlated with BCS (p<0.0003). Triglyceride concentration was greater at 241-300 d (0.245 mmol, p<0.02) compared to earlier time points but was not associated with BCS. Foal birthweight was weakly positively correlated with BCS (r = 0.13, p<0.001) and inversely correlated with leptin concentrations at 61-120 d, 241-300 d gestation (r = -0.64, p<0.05).Reduction in sample size over the study and tight clustering of BCS.Mare BCS correlated with foal birthweight; obese mares had heavier foals. Significant hyperinsulinaemia was not identified in this population. Increased leptin concentration in early and late gestation was associated with decreased foal birthweight. Further work is required to establish whether leptin concentration in late gestation could predict foal birthweight. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Dunnett C.E.,Independent Equine Nutrition | Dunnett M.,Independent Equine Nutrition
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2010

In a crossover design, eight ponies were supplemented with two forms of zinc. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of zinc supplementation and source on indicators of zinc status in grass fed ponies. Plasma and whole blood Zn concentrations were not good indicators of dietary Zn intake. Zinc supplementation had a significant effect on hair growth rate, which may limit its use to evaluate zinc status.


Dunnett M.,Independent Equine Nutrition | Dunnett C.E.,Independent Equine Nutrition
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2010

In a crossover design, eight ponies were supplemented with two forms of selenium (Se). The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Se supplementation and source on Se status in grass fed animals, where basal Se intake may be marginal. Plasma and whole blood Se were shown to be sensitive indicators of acute changes in dietary Se intake. Increased incorporation of Se into mane hair following 2 months of supplementation with an organic (Sel-Plex®) compared to inorganic (selenite) selenium source supports the previously suggested assertion of increased availability of organic selenium.


Dunnett C.E.,Independent Equine Nutrition | Vervuert I.,University of Leipzig
EAAP Scientific Series | Year: 2010

Dietary feed supplements to promote health are widely used in equine nutrition. However, many of the commercially available products are promoted with little scientific basis for the assertions made on their labels or in other marketing material. The aim of this paper is to discuss some of the more commonly encountered nutraceuticals in the equine diet with reference to their potential health benefits. Evaluation of the therapeutic potential of nutraceuticals for horses is difficult due to the limited species specific scientific evidence of efficacy. However, this does not preclude the existence of beneficial properties.

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