Journal of equine veterinary science2019; 83; 102811; doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102811

Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Microalgae Supplementation on Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Horses With Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

Abstract: Much of the equine population is obese and therefore predisposed to the development of additional health concerns such as equine metabolic syndrome (EMS). However, pharmacologic treatments for EMS are limited. Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is a therapeutic strategy in humans with metabolic dysfunction that improves insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation, but the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in horses with EMS are unclear. Therefore, in this pilot study, 10 mixed-sex and mixed-breed horses with EMS were fed a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich microalgae containing 16 g DHA/horse/d or served as controls for 46 days. Inflammatory status was measured using serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using flow cytometry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Circulating fatty acids, triglyceride, leptin, and adiponectin concentrations were also determined. Insulin and glucose dynamics were assessed with oral sugar test (OST) and frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance testing. Postsupplementation, treated horses had an increase in many circulating fatty acids, including DHA (P < .001). Treated horses also had lower serum triglycerides postsupplementation (P = .02) and a trend (P = .07) for reduced PBMC tumor necrosis factor α. Interestingly, after 46 days, control horses had an increase in insulin responses to the OST (P = .01), whereas treated horses did not (P = .69). These pilot data indicate that DHA-rich microalgae supplementation alters circulating fatty acids, modulates metabolic parameters, and may reduce inflammation in horses with EMS.
Publication Date: 2019-10-21 PubMed ID: 31791524DOI: 10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102811Google Scholar: Lookup
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  • Journal Article
  • Research Support
  • Non-U.S. Gov't

Summary

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The research article investigates the potential therapeutic benefits of omega-3 fatty acid, specifically docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-rich microalgae, supplementation on metabolic and inflammatory parameters in horses with Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) for 46 days. It was found that the supplementation helps in increasing circulating fatty acids, lowering serum triglycerides, potential reduction of inflammation, and modulates metabolic parameters.

Introduction and Research Objective

  • The researchers aimed to study the effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation, specifically DHA-rich microalgae, in horses with EMS, given the health risks associated with obesity in the equine population.
  • Their objective was to evaluate its impact on metabolic and inflammatory markers and establish its potential development as a pharmacological treatment regime as it’s unclear and limited resources available for EMS.

Methodology

  • In the study, 10 mixed-sex and mixed-breed horses with EMS were used, where some were fed DHA-rich microalgae containing 16g DHA per horse per day for 46 days and the rest served as controls.
  • The research team measured inflammatory status using a serologic enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells via flow cytometry and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.
  • They also tracked circulating fatty acids, triglyceride, leptin, and adiponectin concentrations and assessed insulin and glucose dynamics with an oral sugar test and frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance testing.

Findings

  • The research found that post-supplementation, treated horses showed an increase in many circulating fatty acids, including DHA and had lower serum triglycerides.
  • There was also a trend observed for reduced inflammation in the form of PBMC tumor necrosis factor α.
  • Interestingly, control horses showed an increase in insulin responses to the oral sugar test after 46 days, which was not seen in the treated horses.

Conclusion

  • The pilot study indicates that DHA-rich microalgae supplementation effectively alters circulating fatty acids and metabolic parameters, and potentially reduces inflammation in horses with EMS.
  • This opens the door for further research in utilizing omega-3 fatty acid supplementation as a therapeutic strategy for metabolic dysfunction in horses and possibly other animals.

Cite This Article

APA
Elzinga SE, Betancourt A, Stewart JC, Altman MH, Barker VD, Muholland M, Bailey S, Brennan KM, Adams AA. (2019). Effects of Docosahexaenoic Acid-Rich Microalgae Supplementation on Metabolic and Inflammatory Parameters in Horses With Equine Metabolic Syndrome. J Equine Vet Sci, 83, 102811. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jevs.2019.102811

Publication

ISSN: 0737-0806
NlmUniqueID: 8216840
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 83
Pages: 102811
PII: S0737-0806(19)30560-X

Researcher Affiliations

Elzinga, Sarah E
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. Electronic address: s.elzinga@yahoo.com.
Betancourt, Alejandra
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Stewart, John C
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Altman, Melissa H
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Barker, Virginia D
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Muholland, Mason
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Bailey, Simon
  • Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, Melbourne Veterinary School, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia.
Brennan, Kristen M
  • Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY.
Adams, Amanda A
  • Department of Veterinary Science, M.H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

MeSH Terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Horse Diseases / drug therapy
  • Horses
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Metabolic Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Metabolic Syndrome / veterinary
  • Microalgae
  • Pilot Projects

Citations

This article has been cited 4 times.
  1. Tamel Selvan K, Goon JA, Makpol S, Tan JK. Effects of Microalgae on Metabolic Syndrome.. Antioxidants (Basel) 2023 Feb 10;12(2).
    doi: 10.3390/antiox12020449pubmed: 36830009google scholar: lookup
  2. Chaucheyras-Durand F, Sacy A, Karges K, Apper E. Gastro-Intestinal Microbiota in Equines and Its Role in Health and Disease: The Black Box Opens.. Microorganisms 2022 Dec 19;10(12).
  3. White-Springer SH, Vineyard KR, Kivipelto J, Warren LK. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation does not impair vitamin E status or promote lipid peroxidation in growing horses.. J Anim Sci 2021 Jul 1;99(7).
    doi: 10.1093/jas/skab177pubmed: 34228797google scholar: lookup
  4. Christmann U, Hancock CL, Poole CM, Emery AL, Poovey JR, Hagg C, Mattson EA, Scarborough JJ, Christopher JS, Dixon AT, Craney DJ, Wood PL. Dynamics of DHA and EPA supplementation: incorporation into equine plasma, synovial fluid, and surfactant glycerophosphocholines.. Metabolomics 2021 Apr 17;17(5):41.
    doi: 10.1007/s11306-021-01792-5pubmed: 33866431google scholar: lookup