A simple sugar which is the end point of carbohydrate digestion by enzymes, mainly in the small intestine from where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream. Glucose stimulates the glycaemic response causing a rise in circulating insulin, a hormone released by cells in the pancreas. Insulin stimulates uptake of glucose from the blood by the liver and muscles, causing the blood glucose level to fall which feeds back to limit further insulin production until the next meal causes the blood glucose to rise once more.
Chronic oversupply of glucose derived from diets high in starch and NSC may alter the response to insulin causing Insulin Resistance which in turn may predispose to laminitis and orthopaedic disease. A Glucose Tolerance Test may be used where a measured amount of glucose is fed followed by assessment of the insulin response over a period of a few hours to help diagnose insulin resistance.