Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Understanding Protein in Horses' Diets

Thehorse.com - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Jun 08, 2014

Of all the components of your horse’s diet, protein is probably the most misunderstood. Long assumed to function as an energy source for the body, protein mainly functions to provide amino acids (the building blocks of bones, muscles, and soft tissues) for growth and repair.

What are amino acids good for? Virtually all of the horse’s vital processes, it seems. Amino acids are involved in the synthesis and the release of hormones, the synthesis of neurotransmitters and enzymes, and the regulation of sleep, appetite, and blood pressure, to name just a few functions. But primarily, amino acids are needed for the formation and repair of muscle tissue and other soft tissues throughout the body. On a fat-free, moisture-free basis, they account for approximately 80% of a horse’s total structure...

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