Changes of Serum Mineral Concentrations in Horses during Exercise

  • Inoue, Y. (Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Osawa, T. (Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Matsui, A. (Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Asai, Y. (Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Murakami, Y. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Matsui, T. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University) ;
  • Yano, H. (Division of Applied Biosciences, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University)
  • Received : 2001.08.23
  • Accepted : 2001.11.07
  • Published : 2002.04.01


We investigated the exercise-induced changes in the serum concentration of several minerals in horses. Four welltrained Thoroughbred horses performed exercise for 5 d. The blood hemoglobin (Hb) concentration increased during exercise, recovered to the pre-exercise level immediately after cooling down and did not change again up till the end of experiment. The changes in serum zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) concentrations were similar to those of blood Hb during the experiment. The serum magnesium (Mg), inorganic phosphorus (Pi) and iron (Fe) concentrations also increased during exercise. Though the serum Pi concentration recovered to the pre-exercise level immediately after the cooling down, it decreased further before the end of the experiment. The serum Mg concentration was lower immediately after cooling down than its pre-exercise level but gradually recovered from the temporal reduction. The recovery of the serum Fe concentration was delayed compared to that of other minerals and recovered 2 h after cooling down. The serum calcium (Ca) concentration did not change during exercise but rapidly decreased after cooling down. As a result, it was lower immediately after cooling down than its pre-exercise level. It recovered, however, to the pre-exercise level 2 h after cooling down. The temporal increase in the serum concentrations of all minerals except Ca is considered to result from hemoconcentration induced by exercise and the stable concentration of the serum Ca during exercise is possibly due to its strict regulation of homeostasis. These results indicate that the serum concentration of each mineral responds differently to exercise in horses, which may be due to the difference in metabolism among these minerals.


  1. Arnaud, C. D. 1988. Mineral and bone homeostasis. In: Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 18th Ed. (Ed. J. B. Wyngaarden, L. H. Smith and F. Plum). WB Saunders, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pp. 1469-1479.
  2. Cunningham, J., G. V. Segre, E. Slatopolsky and L. V. Avioli. 1985. Effects of heavy exercise on mineral metabolism and calcium regulating hormones in humans. Calcif. Tissue Int. 37:598-601.
  3. Deuster, P. A., E. Dolev, S. B. Kyle, R. A. Anderson and E. B. Schoomaker. 1987. Magnesium homeostasis during highintensity anaerobic exercise in men. J. Appl. Physiol. 62:545-550.
  4. Hiney, K. M., G. D. Potter, P. G. Gibbs and S. M. Bloomfield. 2000. Response of serum biochemical markers of bone metabolism to training in the juvenile race horse. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 20:851-857.
  5. Hodgson, D. R., R. J. Rose, T. B. Kelso, L. J. McCutcheon, W. M. Bayly and P. D. Gollnick. 1990. Respiratory and metabolic responses in the horse during moderate and heavy exercise. Pflugers Arch 417:73-78.
  6. Ohno, H., K. Yamashita, R. Doi, K. Yamamura, T. Kondo and N. Taniguchi. 1985. Exercise-induced changes in blood zinc and related proteins in humans. J. Appl. Physiol. 58:1453-1458.
  7. Suki, W. N. and D. Rouse. 1991. Renal transport of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. In: The Kidney, 4th Ed. (Ed. B. M. Brenner and F. C. Rector Jr). WB Saunders, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pp. 380-423.
  8. Suzuki, K., M. Totsuka, S. Nakaji, M. Yamada, S. Kudoh, Q. Liu, K. Sugawara, K. Yamaya and K. Sato. 1999. Endurance exercise causes interaction among stress hormones, cytokines, neutrophil, dynamics, and muscle damage. J. Appl. Physiol. 87:1360-1367.
  9. Van Rij, A. V., M. T. Hall, G. L. Dohm, J. Bray and W. J. Pories. 1986. Changes in zinc metabolism following exercise in human subjects. Biol. Tr. Elem. Res. 10:99-105.
  10. Broun, G. O. 1922. Blood destruction during exercise. Blood changes occuring in the course of a single day exercise. J. Exper. Med. 36:481-500.
  11. Ljunghall, S., H. Joborn, L. Benson, B. Fellstrom, L. Wide and G. Akerstrom. 1984. Effects of physical exercise on serum calcium and parathyroid hormone. Eur. J. Clin. Invest. 14:469-473.
  12. Mckeever. K. H., W. A. Schurg, S. H. Jarrett and V. A. Convertino. 1987. Exercise training-induced hypervolemia in the horse. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 19:21-27.
  13. Henneke, D. R., G. D. Potter, J. L. Kreider and B. F. Yeates. 1983. Relationship between condition score, physical measurements and body fat percentage in mares. Equine Vet. J. 15:371-372.
  14. Kasugai, A., M. Ogasawara and A. Ito. 1992. Effects of exercise on the iron balance in human body examined by the excretion of iron into urine, sweat and feces. Jpn. J. Phys. fitness Sports Med. 41:530-539.
  15. Ohno, H., T. Yahata, F. Hirata, K. Yamamura, R. Doi, M. Harada and N. Taniguti. 1984. Changes in dopamine-$\beta$-hydroxylase, and copper and catecholamine concentrations in human plasma with physical exercise J. Sports Med. 24:315-320.
  16. Ohira, Y., F. Kariya, W. Yasui, S. Sugawara, K. Koyanagi, K. Kaihatsu, N. Inoue, F. Hirata, C. Chen and H. Ohno. 1995. Physical exercise and iron metabolism. In: Sports Nutrition:Minerals and Electrolytes (Ed. C. V. Kies and J. A. Driskell). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, pp. 5-12.
  17. Smith, J. E., H. H. Erickson and R. M. Debowes. 1989. Changes in circulating equine erythrocytes induced by brief, high-speed exercise. Equine Vet. J. 21:444-446.
  18. Grimston, S. K., K. E. Tanguay, C. M. Gundberg and D. A. Hanley. 1993. The calciotropic hormone response to changes in serum calcium during exercise in female long distance runners. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 76:867-872.
  19. Rose, R. J., K. S. Arnold, S. Church and S. Paris. 1980. Plasma and sweat electrolyte concentrations in the horse during long distance exercise. Equine Vet. J. 12:19-22.
  20. Dreosti, I. E. 1995. Magnesium status and health. Nutrition Reviews. 53(Supp. 2) 23-27.
  21. Schryver, H. F., H. F. Hintz and J. E. Lowe. 1978. Calcium metabolism, body composition and sweat losses of exercised horses. Am. J. Vet. Res. 39:245-248.
  22. Van Beaumont. W., J. C. Strand, J. S. Petrofsky, S. G. Hipskind and J. E. Greenleaf. 1973. Change in total plasma content of electrolytes and proteins with maximal exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 34:102-106.
  23. Gomori, G. 1942. A modification of the colorimetric phsphorus determination for use with the photoelectric colorimeter. J. Lab. Clin. Med. 27:955-959.
  24. Harris, P. and D. H. Snow. 1988. The effects of high intensity exercise on the plasma concentration of lactate, potassium and other electrolytes. Equine vet. J. 20:109-113.
  25. Yamada, T., S. Kurasawa, H. Kasahara and J. Hayashi. 1996. Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus balances during a daily exercise regime of three hours per day. J. Jpn. Soc. Nutr. Food Sci. 49:85-93.
  26. Lukaski, H. C., W. W. Bolonchuk, L. M. Klevay, D. B. Milne and H. H. Sandstead. 1984. Changes in plasma zinc content after exercise in men fed a low-zinc diet. Am. J. Physiol. 247:E88-E93.
  27. Vermann, J., R. Förster, T. Günter and H. Ebel. 1983. Lipolysisinduced magnesium uptake into fat cells. Magnesium 5:39-41.
  28. Snow, D. H., M. G. Kerr, M. A. Nimmo and E. M. Abbott. 1982. Alterations in blood, sweat, urine and muscle composition during prolonged exercise in the horse. Vet. Rec. 110:377-384.
  29. Aruoma, O. I., T. Reilly, D. Maclaren and B. Halliwell. 1988. Iron, copper and zinc concentration in human sweat and plasma; the effect of exercise. Clin. Chim. Acta 177:81-88.
  30. Ljunghall, S., H. Joborn, L. Lundin, J. Rastad, L. Wide and G. Akerstrom. 1985. Regional and systemic effects of short-term intense muscular work on plasma concentration and content of total and ionized calcium. Eur. J. Clin. Invest. 15:248-252.
  31. National Research Council. 1989. Nutrient requirements of horses. 5th Ed. Natinal Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  32. SAS Institute Inc. 1996. SAS/STAT User's Guide: Statistics (Release 6.11). SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Carolina.
  33. Lewis, L. D. 1995. Minerals for horses. In: Equine Clinical Nutrition: Feeding and Care, 1st ed. (Ed. L. D. Lewis) Williams & Wilkins, Media, Philadelphia, pp. 25-60.
  34. Aloia, J. F., P. Rasulo, L. J. Deftos, A. Vaswani and J. K. Yeh. 1985. Exercise-induced hypercalcemia and the calciotropic hormones. J. Lab. Clin. Med. 106:229-232.
  35. Golf, S. W., O. Happel and V. Graef. 1984. Plasma aldosteron, cortisol and electrolyte concentrations in physical exercise after magnesium supplementation J. Clin. Chem. Clin. Biochem. 22:717-722.
  36. Hanzawa, K., K. Kubo, M. Kai, A. Hiraga and S. Watanabe. 1998. Effects of splenic erythrocytes and blood lactate levels on osmotic fragility of circulating red cells in thoroughbred horses during exercise. J. Equine Sci. 9:107-112.
  37. Kohn, C. W., W. W. Muir and R. Sams. 1978. Plasma volume and extracellular fluid voume in horses at rest and following exercise. Am. J. Vet. Res. 39:871-875.

Cited by

  1. Acute responses of iron indices in Quarter Horses during a 3-barrel racing exercise vol.87, pp.2, 2018,