A new University of Queensland study supports the hypothesis that glucose starvation of the laminar tissue contributes to the development of laminitis. Previous research suggested that the inability to absorb adequate amounts of glucose–an important source of energy for many body tissues–triggered changes in the sensitive laminae that lead to laminitis.
In the Queensland study, small sections of hoof laminae were incubated in either glucose solution or a control solution without glucose for 48 hours. Then the researchers measured how much force was required to stretch and separate the laminae, a process that occurs in laminitis. They found that twice as much force was required to separate laminar tissue incubated with glucose than was required to separate tissue kept in the control solution.
The researchers conclude that glucose uptake by laminar tissue does indeed play a role in certain types of laminitis.
–Reported in Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
This article originally appeared in the March 2006 issue of EQUUS magazine.