It’s hard not to notice these days, but there are many digestive supplements for horses on the market, and it’s one of the hottest topics around currently. They’re a common additive to feed products and most come in the form of yeast probiotics and prebiotics. For the Fibregenix formulations, we’ve gone all out to source and include the very best available on the market. In the world of functional ingredients, as they’re known, our gut health and digestive enhancer packs are unbeatable. After all, your horse is precious to you, right? So why shouldn’t he have the benefit of the very best.
WHAT ARE PROBIOTIC YEASTS?
The idea behind adding probiotic yeast to a horse’s diet is to help improve fibre digestibility, however it’s the specific strain of yeast culture and the level included that differentiates one from another. Probiotic yeasts contain a thick cell wall which allows them to travel through the horse’s digestive tract to the large intestine where they are utilized and then excreted, requiring daily supplementation to ensure they are replenished in the large intestine. The key role they play is to help promote the production of bacteria which digest cellulose in the horse’s hindgut.
GOOD, BETTER, BEST…
Some probiotics are good and some are very, very good. The effectiveness of a yeast probiotic is only as good as how many yeast cells make it to the intestine intact and alive and the very best will have a special coating that protects it through not only the manufacturing process, but also for its transit through the foregut to the hindgut. Fibregenix contains Actisaf® which has the best data set for horses compared to all others and is recognised in over 100 countries as the benchmark for probiotic yeast. Each micro-spherule contains over 40 million live yeast organisms and is highly resistant to the various steps involved in the feed manufacture.
HOW DOES ACTISAF PROBIOTIC YEAST HELP MY HORSE?
Horses have evolved as hindgut fermenters, consuming small, fibre-rich meals on a continual basis ie they ferment fibre in the diet at the end of the digestive
system – the caecum and colon. Today’s modern horse is often fed a high starch diet which is difficult to digest as they don’t produce large quantities of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into glucose. If a horse is fed small starch rich meals, it’s unlikely that there will be any consequences, but if large quantities of starch are fed in any one meal, this begins to be pushed through the gut with increasing speed without having been
broken down sufficiently by saliva or gastric juices. Starch then reaches the caecum where it is fermented by bacteria that produce lactic acid rather than the beneficial volatile fatty acids produced from the fermentation of fibre.
When lactic acid is produced, the PH levels in the hindgut drop, known as a state of hindgut acidosis, resulting in many potential health issues. The low PH effectively kills off good bacteria that would normally digest fibre and this can lead to complications such as colic, caecal and colonic ulcers and laminitis. Studies conducted looking at the effects of Actisaf Yeast have found that supplementation with the live yeast not only increases fibre digestibility but also reduces lactic acid accumulation and maintains a more stable PH within the normal range (around 7), which in turn improves both the health and welfare of the horse.
MOS PREBIOTIC – WHAT IS IT?
MOS is short for mannanoligosaccharides. There are many different MOS Prebiotic products. Some are just crude cell wall preparations made from yeast left over from companies who produce yeast extract (the inside of the yeast) or just ground, dried brewer’s yeast. These are cheap and cheerful with little or no data to support their use. They are classified as feed ingredients, not additives, with no licensing required.
The most effective and reliable MOS products such as those found in Fibregenix are licenced and manufactured specifically for the feed industry and are tested for their bacterial binding capacity as part of the quality control process.
HOW DO THEY WORK AND BENEFIT THE HORSE?
MOS Prebiotics work by mimicking sites on the gut wall that pathogenic bacteria bind to. Once bound to the MOS they are rendered useless and are flushed out of the gut. Prebiotics also facilitate the immune system helping to provide support against infections. Prebiotics aren’t always necessary if your horse has a healthy gut environment, however if your horse has undergone a stressful situation, is recovering from illness or is a competition horse on hard feed – training, travelling and competing it will benefit from the inclusion of a prebiotic in the diet.
FOS PREBIOTIC –WHAT IS IT?
FOS stands for fructo-oligosaccharide. This specific prebiotic serves as an energy source for the beneficial bacteria already living in the horse’s hindgut which in turn creates a healthier digestive tract, unsuitable for the growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria.
The specific FOS found in Fibregenix is a unique prebiotic comprising of solely short chained fructo-oligosaccharide.
HOW DOES THIS PARTICULAR FOS BENEFIT THE HORSE?
Scientific support has proven that this specific FOS may:
- Positively modify the gut microflora
- Enhance digestive health
- Reduce the risk of digestive upsets
- Reduce putrefactive compound production
- Strengthen the immune system (GALT)
- Improve insulin sensitivity in the obese horse.
Including both the MOS and FOS in Fibregenix therefore provides a synergistic effect to support gut health.
NUCLEOTIDES – WHAT ARE THEY?
They’re the building blocks for RNA and DNA. All feed contains a level of nucleotides, however in ingredients used for horse feeds these are in very low levels, with a very low availability to the horse (around 5-10%) and they are hard to digest due to their protein coating.
There are very few companies that are giving horse owners the added benefits from feeding Purified Nucleotides to their horses. Fibregenix is the first major feed balancer company in Australia to include them. The Fibregenix feed balancers – Prime Original, Platinum Pro and Lami Low-Cal contain a purified nucleotide supplement which has a 95% availability rate, to balance the limited levels of nucleotides available in the current diet.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE BENEFITS OF ADDITIONAL NUCLEOTIDES IN YOUR HORSE’S DIET CLICK HE