Approximately 60% of a mammal's daily energy intake is for basal metabolism — or the basic process needed for life, such as digestion and respiration. Any additional energy can be stored or used for needs higher up in the hierarchy such as immune function, physical activity or growth. By mobilizing more blood glucose into tissue, feeding supplemental chromium can result in improved health, performance and energy based on the animal's hierarchy of needs.
Insulin plays a key role in optimal cell function, "unlocking the door" to the cell so that blood glucose can enter and be used for energy.1 Chromium improves insulin function by increasing insulin receptor activation eight-fold, leading to efficient clearance and use of glucose from the bloodstream.2,3
By increasing the availability of glucose, the horse can more efficiently use energy for body upkeep, health, growth and performance. Increased glucose uptake by the immune cells may help the horse mount an immune response even under disease or pathogen challenges.4
Stress has a tremendous impact on the health and performance of the horse. Stressors include extreme weather, diet changes, travel, exercise, disease exposure and more. When under stress, horses release cortisol — a stress hormone — which may result in aggressive behavior, suppression of the immune system and increased risk of gastric ulcers, colic or diarrhea.5 Chromium has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol, thereby reducing the negative impacts of stress.6
Low levels of skeletal muscle glycogen (approximately 50 percent of normal) have been shown to negatively impact performance.7 One 800-meter sprint can deplete glycogen stores by up to 65 percent.8 Multiple events during the day or consecutive days of competition or training could quickly deplete glycogen levels to the point at which performance is impacted or horses become easily fatigued. The rate of glycogen synthesis is considerably lower in horses than in humans. Once significantly depleted, it can take 48-72 hours to replenish glycogen stores.
Glucose is stored in the form of glycogen in skeletal and liver cells. Low muscle glycogen levels in horses (less that 50% of normal) can impair physical performance. Multiple events during the day or consecutive days of competition or training could quickly deplete glycogen levels to the point at which performance is impacted or horses become easily fatigued. The rate of glycogen synthesis is considerably lower in horses than in humans. Once significantly depleted, it can take 48-72 hours to replenish glycogen stores.
Increasing the rate of glucose uptake in skeletal muscle cells to replenish their glycogen stores may improve performance. Research indicates that urinary excretion of chromium by human athletes is higher during exercise than when sedentary, indicating chromium's role in energy use.8,9
GLUT4 is the primary transporter, responsible for facilitating movement of glucose into cells.10 When GLUT4 activity is disrupted, glucose transport and insulin sensitivity are significantly reduced.11 While research in glycogen synthesis is limited in horses, supplemental chromium in rats and beef cattle has been shown to increase movement of GLUT4 receptors to the surface of skeletal muscle, resulting in improved glucose uptake metabolism.11,12,13
KemTRACE Chromium — the first product of its kind on the market — is a highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium that helps improve glucose utilization and reduce the negative impacts of stress leading to increased cellular energy and function. This results in improved upkeep, health, immunity, growth and performance of your horse.
Fed to millions of animals around the globe since its introduction in 2000, KemTRACE Chromium is the only FDA-reviewed source of chromium propionate on the market today. Kemin has invested over 20 years and millions of dollars towards research, including more than 50 peer reviewed trials, that validate KemTRACE Chromium as a safe bioavailable and efficacious source of this essential nutrient.
1Loving, N. S. (2019, April). It’s all connected: Bodywide inflammation in horses. thehorse.com/161728/its-all-connected-bodywide-inflammation-in-horses.
2Mertz, W. (1992). Chromium: History and nutritional importance. Biological Trace Element Research. 32:3-8.
3Kleefstra, N. (2013). Chromium and Diabetes. Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins. Diabetes Centre, Isala Clinics, Zwolle, The Netherlands. Department of Internal Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen.
4Palsson-McDermott, E. M. and L. A. O’Neill. (2013). The Warburg effect then and now: From cancer to inflammatory diseases. Bioessays. 35:965-973.
5Malinowski, K. Stress management for equine athletes. esc.rutgers.edu/fact_sheet/stress-management-for-equine-athletes.
6Pagan, J. D., S. G. Jackson and S. E. Duren. (2018, March). The effect of chromium supplementation on metabolic response to exercise in thoroughbred horses. ker.com/published/the-effect-of-chromium-supplementation-on-metabolic-response-to-exercise-in-thoroughbred-horses.
7Lacombe, V. A. (n.d.). Muscle Glycogen Metabolism in Horses: Interactions Between Substrate Availability, Exercise Performance and Carbohydrate Administration. Retrieved October 24, 2019. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/!etd.send_file?accession=osu1041621577&disposition=inline.
8Jose-Cunilleras, E. and Hinchcliff, K. (2004). Carbohydrate metabolism in exercising horses. Equine and Comparative Exercise Physiology, 1(1), 23-32. doi: 10.1079/ecp20031.
9Anderson, R. A., N. A. Bryden, M. M. Polansky and P. A. Deuster. (1988). Exercise effects on chromium excretion of trained and untrained men consuming a constant diet. Journal of Applied Physiology. 64(1):249-252.
10Shaohui Huang and Michael P. Czech. The GLUT4 Glucose Transporter. Cell Metabolism 5, April 2007.
11Jameson, J. L., & J., D. G. L. (2016). Endocrinology: adult and pediatric. Vol. 1. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
12Effects of KemTRACE Chromium on blood parameters, GLUT4 and muscle fiber characteristics of finishing cattle. TL-16-00031.
13Qiao, W., Peng, Z., Wang, Z., Wei, J., & Zhou, A. (2009). Chromium Improves Glucose Uptake and Metabolism Through Upregulating the mRNA Levels of IR, GLUT4, GS, and UCP3 in Skeletal Muscle Cells. Biological Trace Element Research, 131(2), 133–142. doi: 10.1007/s12011-009-8357-2.
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