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Equine Vet J. 2011 Jul;43(4):494-9. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-3306.2010.00302.x. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Effects of a supplement containing chromium and magnesium on morphometric measurements, resting glucose, insulin concentrations and insulin sensitivity in laminitic obese horses.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA.



Obesity and insulin resistance are risk factors for laminitis in equids and supplements containing chromium and magnesium might improve insulin sensitivity.


A supplement containing chromium, magnesium and other nutraceuticals would alter morphometric measurements, blood variables, and insulin sensitivity in laminitic obese horses.


Twelve previously laminitic obese (body condition score ≥ 7/9) horses were randomly allocated to treatment (n = 6) and control (n = 6) groups and 2 obese horses with clinical laminitis were included in the treatment group. Treated animals received 56 g supplement with 0.25 kg oats once daily for 16 weeks. The supplement contained chromium (5 mg/day as yeast), magnesium (8.8 g/day as oxide/proteinate), and other nutraceuticals. Insulin-modified frequently sampled i.v. glucose tolerance tests were performed with hay provided at 0, 8 and 16 weeks, and insulin sensitivity was estimated by minimal model analysis. Physical measurements were collected at the same points. Horses were not exercised.


Hyperinsulinaemia (>30 µu/ml) was detected in 12 of 14 horses prior to treatment. Glucose and insulin data from one mare with clinical laminitis were excluded because of persistent pain. Mean ± s.d. insulin sensitivity was 0.64 ± 0.62 × 10(-4) l/min/mu prior to treatment for the remaining 13 horses. Time and treatment × time effects were not significant for any of the variables examined, with the exception of resting insulin concentrations, which significantly increased over time (P = 0.018). Health status remained the same.


The supplement containing chromium and magnesium evaluated in this study did not alter morphometric measurements, blood variables, resting insulin concentrations or insulin sensitivity in laminitic obese horses.


Additional research is required to determine the appropriate use of chromium and magnesium supplements in horses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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