The gastrointestinal tract has a significant impact not only on general digestive well-being but to many areas of equine health. Probiotics have been known for centuries to help maintain the intestinal microbial balance and support digestive well-being.See All Digestive Health Formulas
The microbiome within the hindgut is made up of billions of beneficial bacteria, fungi, protozoa and enzymes that primarily ferment and digest the fiber found in forages and other feedstuffs. These fiber-digesting microbes must be healthy in order for a horse to digest and metabolize the feed he consumes.
Probiotics are live microbes, usually bacteria or yeast, that add to the general microbial population or support the activity and numbers of “good microbes” that naturally reside in the horse. Two types of yeast strains, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces boulardii, are examples of probiotics used to support nutrient digestibility and utilization in horses. Forward-looking research on specific microflora strains and the microbiome show many areas that could be influenced by a healthy gut, or lack thereof. The health and wellbeing of the microbial world in the gut goes far beyond digestion and feed efficiency, and likely influences every major system of the body.
Virtually any horse can benefit from daily probiotic supplementation due to their strong correlation with gastrointestinal balance and healthy nutrient digestion.
Some examples include:
Prebiotics, such as mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), support the health of the naturally existing microbes in the hindgut by removing pathogens and feeding the innate, good bacteria that is then able to grow and multiply, resulting in healthy forage digestion.
Postbiotics are the result of probiotic activity. They are the non-living, metabolic byproducts of the fermentation process and help to exert many of the health benefits of pre- and probiotics. Examples of postbiotics include some vitamins, enzymes and short-chain fatty acids—a major source of energy for the horse. Postbiotics support the immune system, improve digestion and more.
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