Postbiotics are bioactive compounds created when the probiotics in your horse’s gut consume and digest fiber (prebiotics).
Postbiotics are shown to increase blood oxygen level, reduce recovery times from lactic acid accumulation, support intestinal health, and act as a barrier to harmful bacteria.
Learn more about postbiotics and horse digestion with this Q & A with Nick – the chief of everything at Grand Meadows.
What are Postbiotics?
Postbiotics are produced by the combination of prebiotics and probiotics in the hindgut. Postbiotic horse supplements may provide a broad spectrum of nutrients affecting a multitude of functions in the horse.
The support of a healthy hindgut function hinges on whether there are sufficient probiotics and prebiotics.
How are Postbiotics Different from Prebiotics?
Prebiotics act as a source of nutrition to the bacteria in the hindgut and are generally more shelf stable as they are inanimate, however you still need probiotics for the production of postbiotics.
What do People Need to Know About Horse Digestion?
The digestive system is absolutely the most critical part of the overall health of the horse. And this is reinforced with how much importance is attached to the focus of the microbiome in every aspect of human health.
The function of the horse’s digestive system has a direct impact on every part of the horse. Many horses, particularly in competition, are subjected to high levels of stress from trailering to the extreme levels of performance required of them. A horse’s ability to resist health issues is directly related to the function of the hindgut.
Horses are routinely fed large amounts of grain, something horses never evolved to eat. This has resulted in high levels of metabolic problems such as Cushing’s Disease and Equine Metabolic Syndrome.
We believe that leaky gut syndrome is a 500lb elephant in the room that no-one is really talking about.
How are Horse Nutrients and Feed Digested?
The horse is a posterior fermenter. When feed enters the stomach of the horse, it is mixed with digestive acids and enzymes to start the process of nutrient absorption.
80-90 percent of the fats, amino acids, and vitamins are absorbed through the small intestine. As ingredients pass into the small intestine, after about 20 minutes in the stomach, they are mixed with enzymes that break them down for absorption through the intestinal villi.
It takes between 6-8 hours for the feed to pass through the small intestine. Once feed enters the large intestine it is the beneficial bacteria that go to work breaking down cellulose, lignans, seeds and grains to obtain any remaining nutrients prior to passing into the rectum.
What Should People Look for in Postbiotic Supplements and Products for Their Horses?
It’s super important to know the ingredients in the postbiotics supplement you feed your horse. A trusted postbiotic horse supplement is NASC certified and is designed to deliver:
- Immune system support
- An increase in anti-inflammatory response in joints
- Whole body stress reduction
- An increase in oxygen levels
- A reduction in lactic acid recovery times
- An increase in density and surface area of intestinal villi
- An increase in volatile fatty acid production
Additionally, people need to make sure the postbiotic horse supplement is backed by equine specific research and science.
What Ingredients Should a Horse Postbiotic Contain?
Make sure the horse postbiotic supplement you choose contains Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Postbiotic Fermentation Product.
Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Postbiotic Fermentation Product has the following benefits and features:
- A fully fermented, stable yeast culture that works as a perfect digestive aid, supplying a long list of beneficial enzymes and bacteria to the small and large intestine.
- Boosts the breakdown of fibrous feed digestion and stabilizes pH to safeguard the stomach lining against excess gastric acid.
- Provides mannooligosaccharides which are crucially important in bacteria scavenging in the small intestine.
- Boosts the efficient function of the large intestine and is therefore critical in helping support the immune system as B vitamins are produced in the large intestine.
How Do I Know if My Horse Needs Postbiotics?
The following may indicate your horse may benefit from digestion support, including:
- Weight challenges
- Dull coat
- Behavioral challenges
- Stress and demands of competition and training
Horse postbiotics are also used by breeders to support immune system development in foals.
What is The Best Way to Support My Horse’s Digestive Health?
We recommend looking at alternatives to grain. We believe in a forage first diet using fat instead of grain for calories and a well-balanced supplement to ensure your horse is receiving all of the nutrients required for overall health.
Read more about how horse supplements work with forage.
How can I Learn More About Horse Digestion?
To learn more about horse digestion, read and watch these Grand Meadows horse digestion resources:
- How to keep your horse’s complex digestion and immune system operating at peak performance
- Fireside Chat – Horse Digestive System Primer
- Fireside Chat – Horse Digestion – The Horse’s Stomach
- Fireside Chat – Horse Digestion – The Horse’s Small Intestine
- Fireside Chat – Horse Digestion – The Horse’s Large Intestine
- Fireside Chat – Horse Digestion – Horse Digestion Wrap Up
Our goal at Grand Meadows is to make sure your horse is healthy, happy, and strong. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you have about your horse and their digestion. Like you, we want your horse to benefit from healthy and efficient digestion.