CHALLENGE: Intestinal Dysbiosis (Race Horse)

Intestinal dysbiosis refers to an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria in the intestine of the horse. A healthy population of good bacteria (called microflora) are required for the efficient digestion of food and the manufacture of short-chain fatty acids such as propionate, acetate and butyrate that are converted to energy in the liver. A healthy intestinal microflora also synthesis many of the vitamins required for generating energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. A balanced and healthy microflora also stimulates the gastrointestinal immune system and prevents the adhesion of bad pathogenic bacteria to the intestinal wall. Sudden changes in diet from feeding grass to the feeding of rapidly fermentable, high carbohydrate diets are common practices in the horse industry and have been associated with digestive and metabolic disorders that can impair the performance of horses. Abrupt changes in diet don’t allow sufficient time for the microflora to adapt to the high carbohydrate diet and thus undigested carbohydrates can enter the large intestine in large quantities leading to hindgut acidosis and predisposing horses to the development of acute or subacute laminitis or colitis. Dysbiosis also leads to suboptimal digestion of carbohydrates and thus reduced energy derived from food. Travelling can also cause intestinal dysbiosis in horses, which has been reported after just two hours of transport.


PRO-BIO EQUINE contains a probiotic yeast called Saccharomyces and in horses fed high-starch diets, live yeast supplementation appeared to limit the extent of undesirable changes in the intestinal microbial population. Yeast probiotic has also been shown to benefit the intestinal microbial population after just two hours of travelling. Saccharomyces has also been demonstrated to improve the digestibility of food in horses. PRO-BIO EQUINE also contains threonine which is broken down to form mucin which lines the digestive tract and protects it from damage from stomach acid, harmful bacteria and toxins. The B vitamins included in PRO-BIO EQUINE support the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce energy and vitamins E and C are potent antioxidants which help to protect the intestinal wall from damage caused by bad bacteria in cases of intestinal dysbiosis. Many horses go off their feed or have interrupted feeding patterns while travelling or racing the B vitamins in PRO-BIO EQUINE help to stimulate appetite so that good tissue levels of carbohydrates, fats and proteins are maintained prior to racing.

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