Protein is a word in nutrition that horse owners have difficulty understanding. There is good reason for this – because it is more complicated than carbohydrates (sugar) and fat. But why? Horse owners aren’t stupid and on top of this, they want to do the “best” for their horses.
Protein is used to make the hair coat, top line muscles, hooves, suspensory ligaments, neurotransmitters (Cushing’s disease), the immune system (allergies, skin conditions, disease), enzymes (digestive disorders) and hormones (hormone disorders). In addition, the DNA, RNA and all viruses are all made up of the stuff proteins are made of – amino acids.
I explain what a protein is and the amino acids that make up all proteins. Then I describe the two reasons why horses are chronically deficient in protein: 1) lack of intake of high quality protein having all the essential amino acids and 2) increased destruction of proteins by the body trying to survive living in a high sugar world.