The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of increasing the intake of starch on the glycaemic and insulinaemic responses of horses. A cross-over study design was used in which four horses were fed increasing amounts of a compound feed (0.5–3.5 kg) to provide 0.3, 0.6, 0.8, 1.1, 1.4 and 2 g starch/kg bodyweight (BW)/meal. The glycaemic response increased with starch intake ( P < 0.05), while feeding <1.1 g starch/kg BW resulted in a lowered response, compared to when 1.1–2 g starch/kg BW was fed ( P < 0.01). The results suggested that insulin responses may be more appropriate to define the effect of feeding different starch levels than glycaemic responses. A starch intake of <1.1 g/kg BW/meal produced only moderate glucose and insulin responses, even though highly processed cereals were used. It is therefore recommended that a starch intake of <1.1 g/kg BW/meal or a meal size of 0.3 kg/100 kg BW (starch content of 30–40%) is used for horses.
The Veterinary Journal – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2009
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