Summary Reasons for performing study: Glucose regulation is critical for health and exercise performance. Objectives: To quantify the effects of exercise and diet on insulin sensitivity (SI), glucose effectiveness (Sg), acute insulin response to glucose (AIRg) and disposition index (DI) in horses. Methods: This study applied the minimal model of glucose and insulin dynamics to exercise‐trained Arabian geldings during rest or constant moderate‐intensity exercise after 8 weeks adaptation to feeds high in sugar and starch (SS, n=6) or fat and fibre (FF, n = 6). Horses underwent 2 frequently sampled i.v. glucose tolerance tests (FSIGT). For both tests, a resting basal sample was collected, followed by an i.v. dose of 600 mg/kg bwt glucose defining 0 min of the test. Insulin (0.01 iu/kg bwt) was administered 20 min post glucose for each test. Resting horses were sampled for 240 min. The exercise FSIGT began after each horse had warmed‐up for 25 min on the treadmill at which point they had reached the speed representing 60% of their predetermined lactate breakpoint maintained for the rest of the FSIGT. Exercising horses were sampled identically to rest, but for only 150 min post glucose. Results: Exercise increased (P≤0.008) SI, Sg and DI and decreased AIRg in all horses. Overall, horses adapted to FF tended to have higher SI (P=0.070) and DI (P = 0.058). During exercise, FF horses tended to have higher (P≤0.085) SI and DI, than SS horses and these variables tended to be increased more (P≤0.075) by exercise in FF horses than SS horses. Conclusions: Insulin and glucose dynamics adjust during exercise, increasing plasma glucose uptake, presumably to meet demand by contracting skeletal muscle. Trained horses adapted to a high fat diet showed greater metabolic adjustment during exercise than trained horses adapted to a high starch and sugar diet, potentially allowing them to better meet energy demands. Potential relevance: Nutrition and exercise impact glucose and insulin dynamics, potentially influencing health and performance.
Equine Veterinary Journal – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2006
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