Histidine For Extra Performance

May 21 , 2021

Joseph Poareo

Histidine For Extra Performance

Histidine is an important essential amino acid of the body of horses. It metabolizes to form some crucial proteins that play important physiological roles in the horse's body like histamine and carnosine. Histidine is richly present in soybean proteins, canola meal, cottonseed meal, and alfalfa.

Histidine is transformed into histamine which is an important protein and performs various functions in the horses :

Cells of the immune system called mast cells release histamine to fight against bacterial, viral, or some other pathogenic infection. Immune cells release histamine that dilates blood vessels (vasodilation) at infectious areas and facilitates the transport of immune cells to that particular area by more blood exposure. It is also released in allergic reactions resulting in sneezing, swelling, and itchiness. To treat these symptoms in horses, antihistamine drugs are used that affect the histidine amino acid.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain where it plays its role in memory and learning, regulating the sleep/wake cycle, drinking, feeding, hormone secretion, anxiety, and movements. Histamine induces gastric acid secretions in the stomach by parietal cells. A histamine H2 receptor antagonist, ranitidine is used in the treatment of gastric ulcers in horses. Ranitidine blocks the effects of histamine.

Histamine is also involved in sexual arousal in stallions. In male horses, it affects blood vessel contraction (vasoconstriction) in erectile tissue. Histamine affects the nerve-surrounding protective layer (myelin) negatively and disturbs the nervous system.

Histidine combines with beta-alanine to form a dipeptide called carnosine. Carnosine is mostly present in the brain and muscle where it protects the cells from oxidative damage acting as an antioxidant agent. Histidine can also act as a neurotransmitter in the brain and can protect the brain against aging-associated cognitive impairments.

Histidine acts as a buffer in the muscles to neutralize acids produced during hard work and exercise. It improves appetite and is also helpful in the treatment of arthritis. It is also required for the production of red and white blood cells. Histidine can also help in the removal of heavy metals from the body of horses. Histidine is also involved in the maintenance of plasma, hematocrit, and serum albumin in the horse’s body. In short, histidine is necessary for the proper growth and nourishment of the horses. Copper and methionine affect the concentration of histidine in the body negatively.

No specific issue due to deficiency and excess of histidine has been reported till now in the horses.