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Comparative aspects of fuel supply during exercise

Pethick, D.W. (1991) Comparative aspects of fuel supply during exercise. In: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia, V16, Sixteenth Annual Scientific Meeting, 9 - 11 December, Canberra, ACT, Australia pp. 197-204.

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In this paper evidence is put forward to suggest that sheep are well adapted to maintain a supply of carbohydrate for contracting muscle when compared to other mammals such as the human athlete. This is achieved by a remarkable ability to maintain or even elevate glucose concentration in the blood through "feed forward" control of glucose metabolism and by high rates of gluconeogenesis. Glycogen, whether hepatic or muscle, is also readily utilised at work rates above the anaerobic threshold. The ability to replete glycogen is substantial in sheep which are adapted to exercise and is not greatly lower than the rates found in nonruminant animals. Aspects of long chain fatty acid (NEFA) metabolism are also discussed. An interesting finding in sheep is the partial oxidation of NEFA to acetate during sustained exercise at above the anaerobic threshold. This represents a mechanism to increase the power of fat oxidation and deserves attention in other species.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
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