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July 19, 2011

Supplements for Insulin Resistance in horses

by DePaolo Equine Concepts

What is Insulin?

According to Wikipedia, “Insulin in a hormone central to regulating carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body.  Insulin causes cells in the liver, muscle, and fat tissue to take up glucose from the blood, storing it as glycogen in the liver and muscle.

What does Insulin do?

Insulin regulates the metabolism of sugar and starches (carbohydrates), fats, and proteins. Insulin transfers glucose across the cell membrane and the pancreas releasing it in response to elevations in blood glucose.   Insulin also regulates the pituitary gland function

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin Resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body does not respond as needed to insulin resulting in blood glucose levels to not be properly regulated.

What causes Insulin Resistance?

  • The exact causes are unknown but it is thought that there could be a genetic predisposition to the disease and certain breeds such as Arabians, Paso Finos, Morgans, Saddlebreds, Draft Horses, Mustangs and Ponies.
  • A diet high on the Glycemic Index such as oats, corn and sweet feed.
  • A sedentary lifestyle/not enough exercise.  Horses in the wild move 10-30 miles a day foraging and grazing.
  • Vitamin and mineral imbalances.  This can easily be checked with Horse Hair Analysis which is a cutting edge lab test and customized analysis report allowing for deeper understanding of what may be causing unsolved health problems.
  • Being overweight

Signs of Insulin Resistance?

  • Cresty neck
  • Fatty deposits in neck and across hips
  • Excessive weight gain
  • Poor hair coat/difficulty shedding
  • Excessive drinking and urination
  • Excessive appetite
  • Low energy
  • Chronic laminitis

Supplements for Insulin Resistance?

Along with regulating the sugar and starch intake of your horse and maintaining a healthy weight, Dr. DePaolo also recommends supplementing with all natural Chaste Tree Berry Powder.

  This supplement nutritionally supports the normal functioning of the pituitary gland rather than destroying the adrenal glands like prescribed medications such as Pergolide can do.  **In 2007, pergolide was withdrawn from the U.S. market for human use, after several published studies revealed a link between the drug and increased rates of valvular dysfunction but it is still widely prescribed today for horses.
As an herbal supplement, Chaste Tree Berry Powder has no known negative side effects and is safe for long term use, as diseases such as Insulin Resistance are managed, not cured.  This supplement can safely be used with all other treatment protocols and has also been effective in treating Cushings Syndrome, Hypothyroidism and other pituitary gland dysfunctions.

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