Thursday, March 28, 2013

Iodine: Essential Trace Mineral for Horses - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · March 5, 2013

The requirement for iodine in equine diets is not exactly a hot topic of conversation for most horse owners, but the relative obscurity of this trace mineral does not mean that it is unimportant. Iodine’s one known function is as a vital part of the thyroid hormones thyroxin and triiodothyronine.

Thyroxin and the tissue active form of the hormone, triiodothyronine (T3), serve a multitude of metabolic and regulatory roles. The thyroid hormones affect all of the organ systems, muscle metabolism, the nervous system, respiration, and the cardiovascular system. Thyroxin also controls growth rate, cell division, metabolic rate, and oxidative metabolism. In the athletic horse, perhaps the most important role of thyroxin is control of basal metabolic rate and cellular energy metabolism. Thyroid hormone stimulates respiration in the mitochondria resulting in increased oxygen consumption and energy production.

There has been some interest in the use of supplemental, synthetic thyroxin in the performance horse...

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