Sara Azarpeykan

Doctor of Philosophy
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Vitamin D and Calcium Metabolism In Horses in New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Miss Azarpeykan investigated different aspects of vitamin D metabolism in horses. She examined the effect of blanketing on vitamin D synthesis and its relationship with other analytes involved in calcium homeostasis in horses. The circadian rhythms of these analytes were performed over 48 hours on summer and winter solstices along with an in vivo study on equine skin. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed on equine kidneys to study the expression of vitamin D responsive and calcium transporting genes. A novel and potentially important discovery that warrants further investigation, is the apparent inability of horses to synthesise vitamin D3 through their skin. Likewise, the discovery that the main vitamin D metabolite in their circulation is obtained from their diet emphasises the importance of providing a nutritionally balanced diet. Her findings increase current knowledge regarding vitamin D synthesis and metabolism in horses, and adds to existing equine literature.

Professor Keren Dittmer
Professor Keith Thompson
Associate Professor Erica Gee
Dr Els Acke