Energy for Low starch sugar fat diet


Im not questioning IR diet, just want to understand it. Is there enough sugar, starch, fat in IR diet to produce appropriate energy. If not, what to increase first? Fat? Starch? Sugar? 
Chatycady in the Midwest 2022 | Files

Maria Duran

Hi Chatycady,

Not a moderator or Dr. Kellon, but will correct me if I am wrong. The main source of energy in the horses digestive system is coming from fiber fermentation. It produces volatile fatty acids (VFAs) in the form of propionate, acetate and butyrate. These VFAs, specially propionate and acetate are a very good source of energy. Propionate can be converted by the liver into glucose, glycogen (stored glucose in the muscle and liver), aminoacids or fat. The acetate can be directly burned in the cells or converted to fat if necessary, so unless the horse is under special medication affecting glucose metabolism or under moderate exercise and having trouble with glycogen stores, it is not recommended to increase sugars, starch or fat as these will produce an insulin spike and worsen the insulin resistance, possibly leading the horse to laminitis or founder.

Hope it is of help.

María Durán Navarro 
Dec 2017
Madrid (Spain)

Plutón´s Case History
Plutón´s Photo Album

Nancy C

Hi Chaty

Info on feeding when energy is needed, usually when formal work is restarted, may be found here

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
ECIR Group Inc. President 2021-2022

ECIR Group NEW Case History site open to Early Adopters.