Happy Healthy Horses

Pre and Probiotics: What Are They?

By

A horse is designed to use fiber as a major source of calories, and this has to be broken down by beneficial organisms (bacteria and protozoa) in the large intestine. Horses can have inefficient fermentation of fiber as a result of poor populations of bacteria. This may show itself several ways:

  • Older horses having trouble holding their weight despite actually eating more than they did when younger.
  • Active horses that cannot hold their weight on hay alone but have digestive upsets (e.g., diarrhea) when fed grain.
  • Horses prone to bloating, manure changes or gas colic.

The benefits of probiotics in support of gastrointestinal health and immunity are well established; the clinical benefits of prebiotics are not as well known because research in this area is relatively recent. However research into prebiotics is one the rise and shows very promising results. That means both the use of prebiotics and probiotics can augment gut health, with each component offering unique benefits.

Just what are Probiotics and Prebiotics?:

Probiotics: live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit to yoru horse. They help to strengthen the balance of beneficial bacteria while helping to create an environment less favorable to potentially pathogenic bacteria.

Prebiotics: non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate growth and/or activity of a limited number of bacteria in the colon, with potential to improve the horse’s health. Prebiotics help ensure that the balance of beneficial bacteria is maintained, allowing the gut flora to function effectively to support a healthy immune function.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria colonizing the flora, and prebiotics play a support role by supplying the “food” for certain beneficial bacteria when they are already present in the hindgut. That means both the use of prebiotics and probiotics can augment gut health, with each component offering unique benefits.

We recommend this Prebiotic feed supplement to help your horse be his best

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • TwitThis
  • Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Pownce
  • MySpace

Leave a comment

Security Code: