Breakdown Of Connective Tissue In Horses – Rounds With Doc T

The journey of how to feed horses correctly started with the epidemic of suspensory ligament disease. The suspensory ligaments are part of the group of tissues called the connective tissues. The dictionary describes this as tissue that connects, supports, binds, or separates other tissues or organs, typically having relatively few cells embedded in an amorphous matrix, often with collagen or other fibers, including cartilaginous, fatty, and elastic tissues (Apple’s dictionary). The dictionary describes collagen as the main structural protein in skin and other connective tissues.

Let’s dig deeper into the description of collagen from Wikipedia.

Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix in the body’s various connective tissues. As the main component of connective tissue, it is the most abundant protein in mammals, from 25% to 35% of the whole-body protein content. Collagen consists of amino acids bound together to form a triple helix of elongated fibril known as a collagen helix. This helix is in connective tissue such as cartilage, bones, tendons, ligaments, and skin. Depending upon the degree of mineralization, collagen tissues may be rigid or compliant or have a gradient from stiff to compliant. Collagen is also abundant in corneas, blood vessels, the gut, intervertebral discs, and the dentin of teeth. In muscle tissue, it serves as a major component of the endomysium. Collagen constitutes one to two percent of muscle tissue and accounts for 6% of the weight of strong, tendinous muscles. The fibroblast is the most common cell that creates collagen.

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