EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Horses and humans have more similarities than differences, according to experts.
Jane Manfredi, MSU College of Veterinary Medicine is treating specific disorders, such as endocrine disease- by looking at the parallels between the two.
“Horses are beautiful and wonderful animals to work with, they are very much interconnected with their human partner, and so we very much can work with them, we do all the time, and they also have a high percentage of endocrine disease occurring naturally,” Manfredi said.
Experts said 20% of horses and over 34% of humans in the U.S. are affected by endocrine disorders such as metabolic syndrome.
Manfredi uses one health- – an idea that animals, humans, and the environment are all interconnected- – to prevent, treat and slow the progression of this disorder.
“So, what that means is there’s probably a lot of shared reasons why these are happening, and so by some of my research, by looking at the metabolic, cellular and hormonal reasons behind what’s occurring and those can potentially transfer over to the humans and see if we can benefit them as well,” Manfredi said.
Because of the similarities between people and horses, treatments for metabolic conditions could provide health benefits to both species.
According to experts, drugs such as Dulaglutide and Semaglutide can be used in treatment and Manfredi is also looking at nutritional supplements and different exercise training regimens that can help as well.
“So again, similar drugs can be used for both species and similar management plans that starts with a low carb diet and at under lying at least a little low to moderate level of exercise can help keep their weight under control,” Manfredi said.
In the future, Manfredi plans to use horse research to understand metabolic diseases during pregnancy- – to determine if symptoms of insulin and glucose regulation in mothers have an impact on babies.