High insulin levels have been connected to laminitis in horses and ponies. Current dietary recommendations for horses at risk for laminitis include limiting dietary sugars and starches to minimize insulin levels. However, recent studies have shown that meals containing sugar improve tissue insulin sensitivity, which may be good for horses at risk for laminitis. Determining the mechanisms underlying these changes in insulin sensitivity is key to understanding how diet might contribute to laminitis in horses and ponies. In this study, researchers will investigate how different diets affect the gut bacteria and how changes in diet and gut bacteria change a horse's metabolism through the study of important metabolites in the bloodstream. Findings will provide deeper insight into metabolic changes associated with diet and enable us to make appropriate dietary recommendations for horses at risk of laminitis.
Grant amount awarded
University of Minnesota
Molly E. McCue, DVM, PhD, DACVIM
Endocrine/Metabolic (Diabetes, Thyroid)