Equine veterinary journal. Supplement2002; (34); 50-57; doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2002.tb05391.x

Effect of feeding exercised horses on high-starch or high-fat diets for 390 days.

Abstract: Our hypothesis was that, because horses have not evolved as fat eaters, there may be negative metabolic long-term effects of feeding a high fat diet. The objective of the present study was to identify these long-term effects and compare them with the effects of isoenergetic long-term high starch feeding. This randomised block study with 20 exercised horses looked at the effect of feeding either a high starch (HS) or a high fat (HF) diet type in 3 periods during stabling (Stable 1), pasture, and stabling (Stable 2) over 390 days. The horses received a HS or HF concentrate, straw, hay and 6 h pasture/day in the pasture period. HF horses gained weight (2% of initial bwt) and, therefore, fat intake was reduced (from 1.43 to 0.88 g/kg bwt/day). Blood plasma glucose, total protein, albumins, gamma-globulins, free fatty acids, phospholipids and cholesterol concentrations were higher but urea concentration was lower with HF compared to HS feeding (P<0.05). Plasma concentrations of triglycerides, bilirubin and pre-beta lipoproteins were unaffected by the diet type. There were period effects (P<0.05) for all variables except triglycerides and pre-beta lipoproteins. In contrast to HS, in HF the quotient alpha/beta lipoproteins rose (P<0.05) throughout the stable periods and decreased (P<0.05) during 'pasture'. Glutamic acid dehydrogenase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase activity in sera were within the normal range. In conclusion, on the precondition that substantial bodyweight changes were prevented, no apparent adverse effects of long-term high fat feeding were identified and there were no apparent disadvantages of feeding on high fat compared with high starch diets.
Publication Date: 2002-10-31 PubMed ID: 12405659DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2002.tb05391.xGoogle Scholar: Lookup
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  • Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

Summary

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The research article examines the long-term impacts of feeding exercised horses with either a high-starch or high-fat diet over a period of 390 days. Despite expectations of negative effects due to horses not naturally being fat eaters, the study did not find any major adverse effects from the high-fat diet as compared to the high-starch diet when substantial bodyweight changes were prevented.

Study Design and Hypothesis

  • The study was instigated with a hypothesis that horses, not being natural fat eaters, might experience adverse long-term metabolic effect when placed on a high-fat diet. This was compared to a high-starch diet which was expected to have lesser or no adverse effects.
  • The aim of the study was to discern any potential long-term effects of these diet types and compare them.
  • The study implemented a randomised block design with 20 exercised horses. Over a span of 390 days, the horses were fed either a high starch (HS) or high fat (HF) diet in three different periods; during stabling, pasture and stabling again.

Feeding Method and Measurements

  • The horses received either a high-starch or high-fat concentrate along with straw, hay and pasture time of 6 hours per day in the pasture period.
  • In the high-fat group, the horses gained weight, amounting to 2% of their initial body weight. Consequently, fat intake was reduced for these horses from 1.43 to 0.88 g/kg body weight per day.

Findings and Results

  • Horses on the high-fat diet had higher concentrations of glucose, total protein, albumins, gamma-globulins, free fatty acids, phospholipids and cholesterol in their blood plasma. Conversely, urea concentrations were lower in comparison to horses on high-starch diet.
  • Other values such as triglycerides, bilirubin and pre-beta lipoproteins in plasma remained unaffected by the diet type.
  • There was a distinct change in all variables aside from triglycerides and pre-beta lipoproteins dependent on the period (stable or pasture).
  • Measurements of various enzymes in blood serum revealed them to be within normal range, regardless of the fat content in diet.

Conclusion

  • No apparent adverse effects of long-term high fat feeding were identified given the condition that substantial bodyweight changes were prevented.
  • The study found no evident disadvantages of feeding on high fat compared with high starch diets for horses over a long-term period.

Cite This Article

APA
Zeyner A, Bessert J, Gropp JM. (2002). Effect of feeding exercised horses on high-starch or high-fat diets for 390 days. Equine Vet J Suppl(34), 50-57. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2042-3306.2002.tb05391.x

Publication

NlmUniqueID: 9614088
Country: United States
Language: English
Issue: 34
Pages: 50-57

Researcher Affiliations

Zeyner, A
  • Institute of Animal Nutrition, Nutritional Diseases and Dietetics, University of Leipzig, Germany.
Bessert, J
    Gropp, J M

      MeSH Terms

      • Animal Feed
      • Animal Husbandry / methods
      • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
      • Animals
      • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
      • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
      • Female
      • Horses / blood
      • Horses / metabolism
      • Housing, Animal
      • Lipid Metabolism
      • Lipids / blood
      • Liver / enzymology
      • Male
      • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology
      • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology
      • Time Factors
      • Weight Gain

      Citations

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