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Keywords:

  • pectin;
  • lignocellulose;
  • glucose;
  • insulin;
  • horse

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the addition of a purified soluble (pectin) and insoluble (lignocellulose) fibre to a starchy meal on post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy horses. Four horses were fed in a randomized order three different diets: (i) cracked corn, (ii) cracked corn mixed with purified lignocellulose, and (iii) cracked corn mixed with purified pectin. Each diet was adjusted to a starch intake of 2 g/kg bodyweight (BW). Lignocellulose was aligned to an intake of 0.2 g/kg BW, and pectin was fed in a dosage of 0.1 g/kg BW. Each period consisted of a 10-day acclimatization to the diet (fed once per day); during this time, the horses were fed 1.2 kg hay/100 kg BW/day. Blood was collected after each acclimatization period before and after the test meal was fed, without any hay. The increase in plasma glucose and insulin, peak values, and area under the curves were similar for all diets. The present findings suggest that adding purified soluble or insoluble fibre to a corn meal does not affect post-prandial glucose and insulin responses in healthy horses. Feeding strategies for horses with a high energy requirement should include a starch reduction per meal, rather than the addition of purified fibre.