affecting movement, respiratory stress, joints etc, the biggest issue on
the horses physiology is the on set of metabolic problems from excess
blood glucose and insulin: such as insulin resistance, laminitis,
endocrine complications such as Cushing’s disease or Equine
Metabolic Syndrome (EMS). The link between all of these is obesity,
which is why it is vital to recognise the onset of too much condition and deal with it quickly.
The addition of trivalent chromium to the diet allows better utilisation of energy through its effect on insulin, the hormone that regulates the transfer of glucose and amino acid between blood and muscle cells. Human studies have shown that daily supplementation with chromium, in combination with physical training, improved the transposition of body fat to muscle mass. When a horse becomes overweight, the effect of insulin is lowered (insulin resistance), it reduces the ability of the horse’s metabolism to convert fat to muscle. So fat is stored on the body -clearly seen in the fat cresty neck and pads on the rump. Miniature horses are especially prone to this condition. Tests can be carried out to confirm diagnosis and the possible onset of
EMS and even cushings disease.
Scientific tests and strong anecdotal results have shown that adding trivalent chromium to the diet at 4g per 500kg horse, has the effect of reducing insulin resistance, effectively improving metabolic conversion and so reduces the fat stored. Acting early when first signs of being overweight are seen is vital to prevent the horse from travelling down the pathway
to EMS, and other unhealthy results.