The links between the hindgut and overall health are increasing. As a result, the importance of prebiotics and probiotics for horse health and performance is also growing so read our latest blog to find out more.
Horse owners are very aware of the importance of nutrition and digestive health in their horses. Increasingly, links are being found between the hindgut and overall health and performance. So what makes this organ, which makes up 45% of the digestive system, so important? Read on to find out.
The hindgut contains three types of symbiotic microbiota: Bacteria, Protozoa and Fungi. The function of the microbiota is to ensure optimum food absorption for energy and heath. The microflorae are very sensitive and when there is a disturbance or sudden change to the microbiota, digestive issues occur. The balance of the pH in the hindgut is crucial for the microbiota live and grow in. Hindgut pH is linked to diet and nutritional intake, thus sudden dietary changes increase the risk of digestive upsets such as colic or laminitis. There are two types of digestive supplementation that can assist in maintaining balance within the hindgut microflora: prebiotics and probiotics.
Within the hind gut, prebiotics stimulate the growth of the beneficial micro-organism population, enabling them to exceed the detrimental micro-organisms. By limiting the unwanted microflora, the prebiotics help create a positive environment for the natural, symbiotic microflora to flourish. By ensuring a healthy microbiota population, the pH of the hindgut is regulated leading to better nutrient absorption and subsequently overall horse health.
Probiotics are live organisms that assist the development of the natural micro-organisms within the hindgut. These live yeasts have been proven to aid with nutrient digestibility within the hindgut, with Saccharomyces Cerevisiae being the most well-known yeast. Probiotics aid the regulation the pH of the hindgut which has two benefits; it helps the microflora thrive and, as a result, it increases the optimisation of fibre digestion as well as the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the diet.
The importance of maintaining a balanced pH within the hindgut is vital as it is such a sensitive organ. Therefore it is imperative that there is the correct ratio of pre and probiotics within any equine digestive supplement. Gut Gold from NutriScience is a pre and probiotic supplement that contains:
- Live Yeast (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae CNCM I-1077) – aids nutrient digestibility through enhancing the activity of fibre digesting bacteria in the hindgut
- Mannan Oligo Saccharide (MOS)– natural polysaccharides that block undesirable bacteria from multiplying thus enabling symbiotic microflora to flourish
- Beta-glucans– natural polysaccharides which modulate the immune response