What are Nucleotides?
Nucleotides are molecules that make up the structural units of DNA and RNA. Nucleotides are essential to create new cells in the horse’s body and to transport oxygen around the body. They are found in low levels in a horse’s natural diet and are formed by horses’ bodies ‘recycling’ dead cells, however there are great benefits in feeding additional nucleotides. All feeds contains a level of nucleotides; however in ingredients used for horse feeds these are in very low levels, with a very low availability to the horse (around 5-10%) and they are hard to digest due to their protein coating.
There are very few companies that are giving horse owners the added benefits from feeding Nucleotides to their horses. Fibregenix is the 1st major feed company in Australia to include purified nucleotides. The Fibregenix feed balancers – Prime Original, Platinum Pro and Lami Low-Cal contain a purified nucleotide supplement, which has a 95% availability rate, to balance the limited levels of nucleotides available in the current diet.
Key Points about Nucleotides
There are 5 nucleotides that must be provided in balanced amounts to allow for absorption.
Nucleotides are naturally available through recycling dead cells (inefficient), from the liver (level available reduced under times of stress/disease), through cellular production (slow) and from the diet (low levels & low availability).
Animals can’t store nucleotides, hence requiring a readily available source.
Nucleotides need to be readily available to horses :
– Under stress
– Suffering from low immunity
– During growth (e.g. foals/youngsters)
– Under high productive performance (e.g. breeding)
– Undergoing high levels of exercise
The Benefits of Having Higher Levels of Nucleotides in the Diet:
Nucleotides are an essential nutrient for rapid cell replication. Cells/areas requiring rapid cell multiplication include immuno-competant cells, gastrointestinal cells, intestinal flora cells, liver cells and cells of reproductive organs.
Fitness, Stamina and Fatigue: Nucleotides improve the production of red blood cells. This means that more oxygen can be transported around the body, which improves levels of fitness and stamina, and reduces the onset of fatigue and the level of lactic acid produced.
.Muscle Recovery and Function: If nucleotides are fed as a supplement to the diet this reduces the number of steps to form cells. This quickens the recovery rates for the muscles that undergo stress as part of a training schedule. The better and faster that these muscles recover the better the muscle function.
Injury recovery: Increased oxygen transportation provided by nucleotides means that more oxygen will get to the damaged area. Coupled with the increase in the rate of cell replication means that nucleotides can help to reduces the time taken to recover from injury..
Nucleotides’ role in intestinal development is to increase length and number of villi – vital for mucosal development (1st line of defence in the gut). Nucleotides optimize the natural protective mechanisms of the mucosal lining, helping to maintain a healthy GI tract. Supplementing a horse’s diet with nucleotides increases mucosal thickness and protein levels through increased availability of genetic precursors. It also speeds up intestinal recovery after chronic diarrhea and intestinal damage.
Digestion and Nutrient Absorption: Nucleotides increase the length and surface area of intestinal villi. Villi line the intestines and are responsible for absorbing the nutrients, vitamins and minerals from the food that the horse consumes. Increasing the length and surface area of the villi means that more nutrients, vitamins and minerals are absorbed from the food.
.Nucleotides’ role in immunity: Considering that 70% of an animal’s immune system is in their GI tract, the immune system itself is directly affected by the health of the digestive system. Nucleotides help the rate of replication of immune cells. Thereby improving the horse’s immune system and helping them to fight bacterial and viral infections.
Nucleotides are immune facilitators (not stimulators) so only help when required by the immune system, and quickly help the immune system to respond to and destroy a disease/infection.
Fibregenix Platinum Pro Balancer:
Competition horses: High performance horses always require high levels of cell proliferation. With nucleotides there will be better production, absorption and utilisation of oxygen; a level heart rate during exercise; less cells broken down; more active red blood cells = increased oxygen carrying capacity; much lower levels of lactic acid build up = reduce risk of azoturia; better recovery after exercise.
Veteran horses: Nucleotides will help to promote excellent health, condition and weight; ensure healthy digestion (often compromised with old age) and aid the immune system when required (again, often compromised with old age).
Horses under extreme stress – e.g. recovering from antibiotics/severe digestive upset: nucleotides aid the digestive system (often compromised/unbalanced following antibiotic treatment);