The metabolism of a horse is such that the metabolic rate can increase from very low at rest to hundreds of times greater at maximal exercise. The liver will turn lactic acid, fatty acids and amino acids into glucose through a variety of different enzymatic reactions. To support such a high requirement for nutrients during exercise the liver must increase its metabolic rate greatly. In increasing the metabolic rate, greater stress is placed on the liver cells, they must metabolise and clear carbohydrates and fat in greater quantities and at greater speeds, they have to break down lactic acid and turn it back into glucose, the have to clear the toxic products of metabolism e.g. ammonia and the liver cells are very susceptible to oxidative damage as a result of the free radicles that are produced during metabolism.
RECOMMENDATION: LIVERPAK 100, LACTESE PLUS, B VITAMINS
LIVERPAK 100 contains a variety of vitamins and amino acids to help the liver to use fats to create energy and glucose and to clear the products of fat metabolism from the liver so that fat does not build up in the liver. LIVERPAK 100 also contains several plant-derived ingredients (rosemary, artichoke and milk thistle) as well as vitamins C and E to protect the liver against damage from the byproducts of metabolism. LIVERPAK 100 also contains propylene glycol which can be readily converted to glucose and used as an immediate energy source.
The milk thistle in LIVERPAK 100 helps to protect liver cells (hepatocytes) against oxidation and inflammation. Rosemary is an excellent anti-oxidant and artichoke leaf extract promotes the clearance of bile from the liver and prevents the build-up of fats in the liver. LIVERPAK 100 also contains methionine, choline, carnitine and inositol. Choline and methionine are two key substances that promote fat metabolism, especially in the liver. Choline and methionine requirements can spare each other, such that supplementation with one reduces the requirement for the other and vice versa. Methionine is used for the generation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which in turn is used for the synthesis of choline. SAMe is a very powerful hepato-protectant and protects the liver cells against damage from toxic metabolites. Methionine is also involved in many pathways including the synthesis of phospholipids, carnitine and creatine. The carnitine contained in LIVERPAK100 is required for the transport of long-chain fatty acids into cells so that the fats can be oxidised and used for energy production. The inositol in LIVERPAK100 is included to assist with the generation of energy from fats.
The horse’s diet can be modified to increase carbohydrate and therefor muscle glycogen stores in racehorses. LACTESE PLUS acts in a similar way to insulin and promotes glucose uptake and storage in muscle cells. The water-soluble B VITAMINS all play essential roles in the breakdown and metabolism of food as well as various biochemical processes in the body. The B vitamins are also excellent at stimulating appetite and promoting feed intake which is imperative for the equine athlete.