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Nutrition and Metabolic Support

Due to the increased prevalence of equine metabolic syndrome, dietary strategies designed to prevent and reduce complications from this disease have become very important. Several commercial products provide key nutrients needed to help maintain proper metabolic functioning. For example, carnitine, chromium, magnesium, and a balanced supplement containing vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, antioxidants and amino acids are important tools in managing horses with equine metabolic syndrome.

Nutritional Solutions to Support Your Patients

See our recommended Platinum Protocols for common equine conditions and injuries.

Condition Products Protocol
Overall Wellness
  • Platinum Performance® Equine or
    Platinum Performance® CJ
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine or Platinum Performance® CJ BID.
PPID and Metabolic Syndrome
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Beta Lip-Ox®
  • Platinum Metabolic Support
Administer 1-2 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID, 1 level scoop of Beta Lip-Ox® BID and 1 slightly-rounded scoop (20cc) of Platinum Metabolic Support BID for 2-3 months.

SID = 1 time daily, BID = 2 times daily, TID = 3 times daily.​

The Science Explained

Metabolic Support: Feeding to Maintain Health

Supporting Equine Metabolic Health with Nutrition and Supplementation

Maintaining and Optimizing Gut Health

The Natural Diet- Feeding for Health

Protecting a Horse’s Health with Pterostilbene, Curcumin and Antioxidants

Quick Facts on Equine Metabolic Syndrome

  • A hallmark of this syndrome is insulin resistance, which is described as a tissue's inability to respond appropriately to insulin. Affected horses often have abnormally high blood glucose and nearly always elevated insulin concentrations.
  • Insulin resistance may predispose affected horses to the development of laminitis if glucose cannot be adequately delivered to hoof tissues.
  • Affected horses are often described as "easy keepers" and are usually overweight with a body condition score exceeding 7/9.
  • A crested neck and fat pads on the back, around the tail, and in supraorbital areas are often noted, and a genetic predisposition to this syndrome has been identified.

Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome

The predominant recommendations for the prevention and treatment of equine metabolic syndrome are calorie restriction and increased exercise. While weight loss often improves insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation, supplementation with certain nutrients can help support normal healthy levels of glucose and insulin in metabolic horses.

  • Omega-3 fatty acidshave been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help control glucose metabolism by optimizing cell membrane fluidity, improving insulin receptor signaling, and activating gene transcription.
  • Antioxidants are an important component in treating insulin insensitivity and disease development, as Vitamins E and A have resulted in improved glucose utilization and insulin sensitivity.
  • Chromium and Magnesium are minerals that influence the action of insulin through facilitation of insulin signaling, which makes them critical nutrients in glucose metabolism.
  • Carnitine transports fatty acids into mitochondria where they are converted to energy and has been shown to improve glucose oxidation and enhance the ability of insulin to lower blood glucose levels.

Science Behind the Supplements

University of California at Davis measured insulin and glucose responses of horses consuming meals of alfalfa and oat hay before and after 6 weeks of supplementation*.

  • Fasting blood glucose concentrations were significantly lower after the supplementation period.
  • Peak serum insulin concentrations were 44% lower after the supplemented meal as compared to the non-supplemented meal (data not shown).

Researchers at the University of Georgia tested the effects of supplementation* on fasting blood glucose with a mouse model of type II diabetes.

  • After 8 weeks, supplemented mice had a 30% lower average fasting glucose value than non-supplemented mice.
  • Supplemented mice had an 8% decrease in body weight and significantly improved vascular function (data not shown).

Preliminary results from a recent study conducted at Colorado State University demonstrate 6-8 months of twice daily supplementation** resulted in a 19-20% decrease in fasting cortisol (p < 0.05) and insulin (p= 0.052) among horses defined as "borderline insulin resistant." This change correlated to a significant 15% improvement in the average RISQI score (an index of insulin resistance) reclassifying these horses from borderline insulin resistant to normal.

*Platinum Performance® Equine formula
** Platinum Performance® Equine and Platinum Metabolic Support

White Paper & Platinum Performance® Product Flyer

Metabolic Support: Feeding to Maintain Health

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Metabolic Support Category Flyer

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Answers, Recommendations and Support

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