HOW POL­LU­TION MAY AF­FECT PER­FOR­MANCE

EQUUS - - Medical Front -

New re­search sug­gests that ex­po­sure to po­ten­tially toxic min­er­als has a neg­a­tive ef­fect on equine per­for­mance.

Re­searchers at the All-Rus­sian Re­search In­sti­tute of Horse Breed­ing in Ryazan set out to de­ter­mine whether a cor­re­la­tion ex­ists be­tween a trot­ting horse’s rac­ing speeds and the amount of io­dine, chromium, cobalt, cad­mium, lithium, lead or other toxic min­er­als in his body. As­so­ci­ated with in­dus­trial pol­lu­tion of the air, wa­ter and/or soil, min­er­als can be ingested or ab­sorbed by an­i­mals. Hair sam­ples are a re­li­able in­di­ca­tor of the lev­els of min­er­als that have ac­cu­mu­lated in an in­di­vid­ual’s body.

For their study, the Rus­sian re­searchers first an­a­lyzed hair sam­ples from 215 Rus­sian trot­ting horses to es­tab­lish the av­er­age bod­ily lev­els of 25 el­e­men­tal min­er­als. For each min­eral, lev­els that fell be­tween the 25th and 75th per­centile were con­sid­ered the “phys­i­o­log­i­cal stan­dard.” The re­searchers then an­a­lyzed hair sam­ples from 56 ad­di­tional trot­ting horses to de­ter­mine where they fell in the range for each min­eral and then they com­pared those find­ings with each an­i­mal’s rac­ing record.

The data showed that the high­est achiev­ing horses had sig­nif­i­cantly lower lev­els of io­dine, chromium, cobalt, cad­mium, lithium, vana­dium, alu­minum and lead in their hair sam­ples than did those who did not per­form as well. The re­searchers also found that as a horse’s min­eral lev­els in­creased, his per­for­mance de­creased. The slow­est group of horses had high lev­els of 13 el­e­ments: phos­pho­rus, iron, cop­per, man­ganese, iron, cobalt, sil­i­con, potas­sium, chromium, nickel, vana­dium, alu­minum and lead.

The re­searchers con­clude that there’s a neg­a­tive cor­re­la­tion be­tween the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of toxic min­er­als and speed in trot­ting horses.

Ref­er­ence: “The con­tent of es­sen­tial and toxic el­e­ments in the hair of the mane of the trot­ter horses de­pend­ing on their speed,” En­vi­ron­men­tal Science and Pol­lu­tion Re­search In­ter­na­tional, Au­gust 2018

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