Trying to kill oneself with a knife and fork is lamentable, but inflicting this weakness for calorific excess on our equine companions is downright unfair. Reaven (2005) cheerfully suggests that as many as one in three of us may be insulin resistant but will not find this out until either we develop cardiovascular disease, or our pancreatic β-cells finally collapse from exhaustion after years of churning out excess insulin to compensate for our sluggish glucose transporters and errant appetites. Similarly, there is growing concern about the occurrence of equine obesity, insulin resistance, and its consequences. It is fortunate then, that research interest in equine nutrition and metabolism is also gaining momentum. In this issue of The Veterinary Journal , Charles Kearns and others from the Equine Science Center at Rutgers launch into the study of equine leptin and adiponectin, comparing the concentrations observed in fit young fillies, with those in mature mares ( Kearns et al., 2006 ). In man and other animals, these hormones – secreted by fat cells and more accurately termed ‘adipocytokines’ – play an important role in signalling body condition to the brain. Thus, they are intimately associated with the regulation of appetite, energy
The Veterinary Journal – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2006
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