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Use of fat in the diet of horses mainly for high performance animals

Use of fat in the diet of horses mainly for high performance animals
As important as the knowledge of digestive physiology, knowledge about the chemical composition and digestibility values ​​of food become indispensable for formulations of rations more adjusted to the nutritional requirements. In this way, better alimentary efficiency is obtained, avoiding, gastrointestinal disorders, besides providing, to the animal, rate of growth compatible with its genetic potential, maximizing the performance and reducing the costs.

Recently there was an increase in the use of fat in the animal diet mainly for high performance animals. This may be due to the fact that the ration has higher energy density, is palatable and has a high digestibility for energy, which can increase the energy balance, providing more energy for the work, since a great performance in the sport is based on a combination of factors such as natural ability, health, training and diet. In addition, the increase of this energy density is traditionally obtained with the use of grains containing carbohydrates.

An excess of grains in the diet can lead to a reduction in the intake of fodder, leading to a decrease in the consumption of water and electrolytes, increasing the risk of diseases, especially those related to digestive disorders in horses. Fats can be safer sources of energy in diets with high energy density than carbohydrates, taking away the adversities arising from the high.

The effects of dietary fat supplementation have been studied extensively for performance in sports, but few researchers have conducted studies on the effect of nutrient digestibility. The effects of fats on the digestibility of other nutrients are complex and not fully understood. Several studies with fat addition in the diet present contradictory results, mainly regarding fiber digestibility.

Some researchers report that the addition of fat to the feed did not affect the digestibility of the fiber, although others have found an increase. Numerous studies point to the benefits of including fats in the formulation of equine diets, most of which emphasize the acceptability and digestibility primarily of corn oil in the first place, soybean oil to a lesser extent, with very few references to alternative sources of fats such as those of animal origin.

Equine has a predilection for corn oil being well accepted by horses at levels ranging from 10 to 30% of the dry matter, but the acceptability of other fats is not well established and has been questioned. Animal fats are not so pure when compared to vegetable oils, and this is perhaps the reason why their acceptability and energy density are lower. The administration of up to 2.5g / kg / PV / day of good digestible fat divided into several meals does not result in equine health disorders.

Likewise, it is possible to add fat in the proportion of 20% in the total ration and 30% in the grain mixture without finding adverse effects, but higher levels decreased acceptability and caused more pasturage feces. The acceptability of corn oil (90%) is superior to any other type of fat contemplated in the existing literature. However, its high price, and the fact of competing with human food, make research interesting in search of alternatives that even if they do not have the same acceptability, comply with the nutritional requirements of the species, using animal by-products (animal fat) without losing nutritional quality.

In addition to corn oil, recent studies recommend the use of rice oil as a potential source of essential fatty acids in addition to vitamin E precursor compounds, which act as antioxidants and others, such as gamma-oryzanol, with potential effect on production of hormones and muscle development. Some researches concluded that the addition of dietary fats replacing non-structural carbohydrates (corn) in isoenergetic amounts increased the digestibility of crude protein, and this.

This increase in protein digestibility would have its explanation in the fact that a smaller amount of carbohydrates in the diet can reduce bacterial multiplication in the large intestine that translates in the less presence of protein of bacterial origin in the feces.

Sports horses are often fed with concentrates containing high levels of ethereal extract, with contents up to 130 g / kg. The addition of extra fat increases the energy density of the diet. Providing foods with high energy density facilitates the intake of energy per meal that is advantageous for horses with high requirements in that nutrient. Diets with high energetic contents allow a reduction in the total consumption of dry matter, reducing with this practice, the weight of the gastrointestinal contents, this effect is considered beneficial for performance horses.

There is actually suggestive evidence that in-work horses perform the job better when fed with rations that contain high amounts of fat in the diet.
Some studies with equines whose diets have been added fats have shown that the production of heat is decreased by 14% with no effect on the energy required for maintenance, thus leaving more energy available for physical activity or storage of glycogen. In the same sense, research with racehorses demonstrated that high fat diets increased the storage and mobilization of glycogen in the anaerobic metabolism reducing fatigue, as well as an improvement in.

Similarly, another study showed that dietary fat had an effect of stimulating muscle glycogen synthesis or an inhibitory effect of the use of this substance on muscle when horses were subjected to submaximal velocity exercise. The authors concluded that horses supplemented with fat had a higher initial muscle glycogen concentration, with a decrease in the use of this substrate. They also showed a trend towards lower levels of blood lactate.

Further research has indicated that fat supplementation has no apparent effect on the various blood parameters, including hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and lactate concentrations, but increased the plasma cholesterol concentration, especially the fraction high-density protein (HDL).However, the liver apparently adapts to larger amounts of lipids in the diet producing higher levels of bile. Bile is mainly composed of bile salts, which are derived from cholesterol. In order to increase bile production, a greater amount of endogenous cholesterol must be absorbed in the digestive process.

This would be evidenced by the increase in cholesterol levels in the LDL and HDL fractions of horses fed with high fat diets. As the fats of these diets were mainly based on corn oil the presence of exogenous cholesterol can be ruled out, which is why the increase in plasma cholesterol can be attributed to an increase in the endogenous production of the same, stimulated by the increase in fat intake .

We can not fail to emphasize the effect of the inclusion of vegetal oil in the diet on the quality of the mane, tail and hair. Equines have an important role as companion animals, and the addition of fat, due to the fact that some fatty acids are used in the formation of hairs and hair of the mane and tail, can promote a significant result in the appearance of the animals.

The levels of inclusion of vegetable fat in the equine diet (5 to 20%) can beneficially affect total apparent digestibility of the diet, does not significantly affect plasma levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in order to compromise animal health and, can increase safety in providing large volumes of dietary energy. Based on this information, the use of vegetable oil in the equine diet is an efficient alternative to increase dietary energy.

Nota Univittá
Thinking of the supplementation of the athlete horse that is so necessary to achieve the expected performance, Univittá launched the GAMARICE, which is the only product based on degummed rice oil enriched with prebiotic (MOS) and probiotic (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that stimulate the proliferation of beneficial bacteria and absorption of nutrients, reinforcing the body's natural defense mechanisms.
Degummed crude oil contains various substances such as fat-soluble vitamins, lecithin, pigments, phytosterols and enzymes that are removed in the refining process. In addition, GAMARICE contains substances with anabolic properties (gamma-anorecanol, Omega 3 and 6 and Vitamin E) that increase muscle mass and have antioxidant action that protect cells during and after physical exertion.
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Dr. Alexandre Augusto de Oliveira Gobesso
Prof. Dr. Alexandre augusto de Oliveira Gobesso Veterinary Medicine - State University of Londrina - 1988 Master in Veterinary Medicine / Animal Nutrition - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - 1997 - PhD in Animal Husbandry / Animal Production Fac. Of Agrarian and Veterinary Sciences / Unesp / Jaboticabal / SP - 2001 Free Professor - School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - 2009 Professor Responsible for Discipline: Equine Production - Veterinary Medicine Course Professor and Advisor - Master's and Doctorate in Animal Nutrition and Production - Responsible Researcher - Research Laboratory in Digestive Health and Equine Performance - Department of Animal Nutrition and Production - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science / USP - Pirassununga Campus / SP

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