The Therapeutic Benefits of Amino Acids
As amino acids play such vital roles in the health of your horse it is necessary to have a solid understanding of the function of each amino acid within the horses system. For correct utilisation to take place in terms of maintenance and development of body tissue, including all the other functions the body must go through, amino acids must be present in the correct ratio. If these ratios are inadequate then in some specific amino acids protein synthesis will be negatively affected.
Protein malnutrition is certainly a possibility in horses as well as humans this can cause a deficiency in some amino acids. Deficiency signs can be associated with poor diet, digestion and absorption problems, stress, disease and infection and drug usage. Deficiencies can also be caused by imbalances or deficiencies of other nutrients required by the body, such as minerals and vitamins. An introduction of amino acids in to a diet may result in the correction. For example, if there are not sufficient calories contained in a horse’s diet this may result in the utilization of amino acids as an energy source.
This will then cause a deficiency in amino acids that will more than likely not be corrected by supplementation. Any mediator interfering with the uptake of amino acids can have a devastating effect on the synthesis and maintenance of collagen in the bone and connective tissue. Factors that contribute to the availability and utilization of amino acids involve dietary intake, levels of essential and non essential amino acids to be balanced, sufficient levels of cofactors for enzyme action which include vitamins and minerals caloric status.
Amino acid analysis may detect some of the following:
- A disrupted or improper collagen synthesis
- A plasma sample that is unusually high in proline and lysine might indicate inadequate conversion of these amino acids.
Symptoms of the above would include pain in the limbs and a general weakening of collagen in tendons and bones.
- A deficiency in vitamin C can also be linked as vitamin C is required for hydroxylating proline and lysine, collagen synthesised in the absence of vitamin C has been insufficiently hydroxylised and therefore becomes unstable and is prone to be damaged easily.
- Another disruption could be unusually high glycine in the plasma and urine and this may indicate caloric or renal deficiency, this will have a major effect on collagen production and a similar situation may occur as above whereby there is a weakening of collagen in the bones and tendons
Amino Acid profiles
The development for this type of nutritional profile has enormous advantages for horses as much as it does for humans. This type of profile would act as a very valuable tool in the future diagnosis and patterns of disease. It would also assist in accessing an early diagnosis. There is no doubt that the introduction of certain nutrients in the early part of the progression of a disease will assist in a preventative way. This is also a way of providing what the body needs rather than just looking at the symptoms only.
For Further Information...
If you would like any assistance with feeding your horse, understanding genetics either for your self or your horse,or if you are experiencing any difficulties, such as balancing you feed ration, nervousness, weight loss, arthritis etc please contact Nutritional Therapist Antoinette Foster for free advice email enq @ hiform.com.au or phone 03 97981000.