It's Not Just Sugar that Raises Insulin - Poor Quality Protein Can Too!

By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.

Dietary protein supplies the body with amino acids, which the cells can reassemble to form body proteins specific to the tissue the body needs (bones, skin, muscle, etc.). When only one source of protein is fed, such as one type of grass, this is considered to be "poor quality protein," meaning there is not enough amino acid variety for the cells to combine into useful body proteins. The amino acids that the cells can't use (the left-overs) will be destroyed by the liver, potentially leading to the formation of glucose. Elevated glucose leads to insulin secretion, which can be problematic for the insulin resistant or cushingoid horse. By feeding several protein sources (e.g., different grasses, legumes, and grain by-products) the amino acid pool will be improved, allowing your horse to produce the body proteins he needs.

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