Changes in oxidative stress in response to different levels of energy restriction in obese ponies

Br J Nutr. 2014 Oct 28;112(8):1402-11. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514001974. Epub 2014 Sep 2.


The present study evaluated the effect of different levels of energy restriction on metabolic parameters in obese ponies. Relative weight changes, markers of lipid metabolism and oxidant/antioxidant balance were monitored. A total of eighteen obese (body condition score ≥ 7/9) Shetland ponies were studied over a 23·5-week trial, which was divided into three periods. The first period involved a 4-week adaptation period in which each animal was fed 100% of their maintenance energy requirements needed to maintain a stable obese body weight (MERob). This was followed by a 16·5-week weight-loss period in which ponies were assigned to receive either 100% (control group, CONTROL), 80% (slow weight-loss (SLOW) group) or 60% (rapid weight-loss (RAPID) group) of their MERob. During the 3-week end-phase period, all ponies were again fed 100% of their MERob. Relative weight loss was higher in the RAPID group (P< 0·001) compared with the SLOW group. No linear relationship was found as a doubling of the percentage of energy restriction was accompanied by a tripling of the percentage of weight loss. Relative weight gain afterwards in the end-phase period was higher in the RAPID group (P< 0·001) compared with the SLOW and CONTROL groups. During the weight-loss period, TAG and NEFA concentrations were highest in the RAPID group, as were α-tocopherol and ferric-reducing ability of plasma concentrations. After 8 weeks of weight loss, the concentrations of advanced oxidation protein products were higher in the RAPID group compared with the SLOW and CONTROL groups (P< 0·001). In conclusion, the level of energy restriction influences the extent of changes in oxidant/antioxidant balance. Practically, more severe energy restriction regimens may be associated with a greater regain of weight after the restriction period.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Inbred Strains
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Blood Proteins / chemistry
  • Caloric Restriction / adverse effects
  • Caloric Restriction / veterinary*
  • Castration / veterinary
  • Diet, Reducing / adverse effects
  • Diet, Reducing / veterinary*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Horse Diseases / blood
  • Horse Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Horses
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / veterinary*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Recurrence
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Up-Regulation
  • Weight Gain
  • Weight Loss
  • alpha-Tocopherol / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Triglycerides
  • alpha-Tocopherol