Veterinary journal (London, England : 1997)2006; 174(1); 139-146; doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2006.05.024

The effects of diet on blood glucose, insulin, gastrin and the serum tryptophan: large neutral amino acid ratio in foals.

Abstract: High carbohydrate diets can affect the health and behaviour of foals, but the mechanisms are not always fully understood. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of feeding a starch and sugar (SS), or a fat (oil) and fibre (FF) rich diet to two groups of eight foals. Diets were fed from 4 to 42 weeks of age, alongside ad libitum forage. Faecal pH levels did not differ significantly between groups and endoscopic examination showed that the gastric mucosa was healthy in both groups at 25 and 42 weeks of age. At 40 weeks of age, SS foals had significantly higher total blood glucose and lower total blood gastrin than FF foals during the 6h period following ingestion of their respective diets, but insulin levels did not differ significantly. The ratio between serum tryptophan and other large neutral amino acids showed a trend towards an interaction between diet and sampling time. The results provide preliminary information about the effects of diet on the physiology of young horses.
Publication Date: 2006-09-01 PubMed ID: 16945560DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2006.05.024Google Scholar: Lookup
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  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

Summary

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This research investigates the impact of high carbohydrate diets versus fat and fibre rich diets on young foals’ health, specifically their blood glucose levels, insulin levels, gastrin levels, and the ratio of serum tryptophan to other large neutral amino acids. Foals fed a starch and sugar diet showed notably higher total blood glucose and lower blood gastrin post-meal than those on a fat and fibre diet, but insulin levels were statistically similar in both groups.

Research Methodology

  • The study involved two groups of eight foals that were fed on two specific types of diets from weeks 4 to 42 of their life: a starch and sugar (SS) rich diet and a fat (oil) and fibre (FF) rich diet. They were also provided forage freely.
  • Faecal pH levels were monitored and compared between the two groups. Endoscopic examinations were conducted at weeks 25 and 42 to check the overall health of their gastric mucosa.
  • At the 40th week, the total blood glucose and gastrin levels were measured during the 6-hour period post meal intake, and compared between the two groups.
  • The ratio of serum tryptophan to other large neutral amino acids was also measured and compared.

Findings

  • The study found no significant difference in faecal pH levels between the two groups of foals, implying that the changes in diet did not impact the foals’ gut acidity.
  • The endoscopic examinations showed healthy gastric mucosa in both SS and FF diet groups, meaning that the different diets did not result in any observable stomach problems.
  • At the 40th week, foals on the SS diet had significantly higher total blood glucose and lower total blood gastrin levels in the 6 hours following meal intake, compared to the FF diet group.
  • Insulin levels, however, did not show any significant difference among the two groups, implying that the diet types did not noticeably affect insulin regulation in the foals.
  • The study also noticed a trend towards an interaction between diet and the ratio of serum tryptophan to the other large neutral amino acids, although this interaction was not explicit.

Implications

  • This research contributes initial information on how diet impacts the physiology in young horses.
  • The diets used in the study – one starch and sugar-rich, the other fat and fibre-rich – can have varying effects on young foals’ blood glucose, gastrin levels, and the serum tryptophan: large neutral amino acid ratio.
  • The findings can aid in better understanding the nutrition needs of young, growing horses and inform dietary practice in equine management.

Cite This Article

APA
Wilson AD, Badnell-Waters AJ, Bice R, Kelland A, Harris PA, Nicol CJ. (2006). The effects of diet on blood glucose, insulin, gastrin and the serum tryptophan: large neutral amino acid ratio in foals. Vet J, 174(1), 139-146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2006.05.024

Publication

ISSN: 1090-0233
NlmUniqueID: 9706281
Country: England
Language: English
Volume: 174
Issue: 1
Pages: 139-146

Researcher Affiliations

Wilson, A Douglas
  • School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK. doug.wilson@bris.ac.uk
Badnell-Waters, Amanda J
    Bice, Rachel
      Kelland, Ailison
        Harris, Pat A
          Nicol, Christine J

            MeSH Terms

            • Animal Feed
            • Animals
            • Blood Glucose / metabolism
            • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
            • Dietary Fats / metabolism
            • Dietary Fiber / metabolism
            • Feces / chemistry
            • Gastrins / blood
            • Gastroscopy / veterinary
            • Horses / blood
            • Horses / metabolism
            • Insulin / blood
            • Tryptophan / blood

            Citations

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