.The nutrition industry is beginning to understand what role fermentation, gut bacteria and gut microbiome play for horses. Science has just scratched the surface and is beginning to understand the activity of the microorganisms in the digestive tract and the mechanisms of action related to those microorganisms and food choices.
Understanding the Role of Fermentation in Equine Nutrition
Fermented foods are gaining attention in the human nutrition space, but what does that mean for our equine companions?
Research studies increasingly suggest fermented foods offer powerful health benefits, including gut health promotion, inflammation control, and overall well-being. “Fermented foods” are being emphasized by registered dietitians as something to not ignore in food selections.
Harnessing the Health Benefits of Fermented Foods for Horses
So, how do we share these benefits with our horses without inviting them to eat Kombucha, yogurt, avocados, sauerkraut, and pickles?
A balance of good quality forage as the base of the horse’s diet and a feed concentrate that includes fermentation metabolites is key to maintaining healthy gut flora and a strong immune system You might be asking, how do I know what is an effective and beneficial fermentation product? And how do I know my feed or balancer concentrate contains this?
Unveiling the Science: Fermentation Metabolites and Their Impact on Horses
I have invited a guest writer Christine W. of Diamond V to share more information and some supporting science regarding fermentation metabolites.
“Fermentation metabolites produced by Diamond V are unique, bioactive compounds that work naturally with the biology of the horse to strengthen and empower the immune system, support digestive tissue integrity, and promote a healthy microbial community. Hundreds of these compounds are produced from a proprietary anaerobic fermentation process of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and work synergistically inside the animal to help them perform to their full genetic potential.
These compounds help the horse’s immune and digestive system function normally in face of the many stressors and challenges, specifically hauling, training, breeding, herd dynamics, and environmental factors.
In other words, this specific species of yeast, produce several products or compounds that are beneficial to the microbiome in the horse’s hind-gut. When the horse’s gut is working optimally, everything from digestive to immune function is set up to be resilient in the face of stressors and challenges that might otherwise compromise animal health and performance.”
Strengthening Digestive Health with Fermentation Metabolites
Fermentation metabolites benefit your horse’s digestive tract by supporting a healthy gastrointestinal microbiome. The millions of little bacteria that live in the digestive tract ferments complex carbohydrates resulting in volatile fatty acid production. These acids impact digestion, absorption and the overall gut health. On a feed label you might see yeast culture listed (or S. cerevisiae extract). When fermented by the horse’s microbiome, S. cerevisiae yeast culture metabolites have multiple benefits. They support tissue strength and integrity, contribute to a stable hind-gut pH, and promote a healthy gut microbial community. Additionally, they help maintain a balanced immune response in the face of stressors.
Unlocking the Potential: Improved Nutrient Absorption and Immune Function
Horses with a strong digestive tract are better able to absorb nutrients from the foods that they eat. Research has shown that harmful substances are less likely to permeate the gastrointestinal cellular wall. Think of it as closing your screens on your windows to keep bugs out of your house, but to allow fresh air and good things to flow in. A strong gut is essential for horses to absorb vital nutrients such as amino acids, fats, vitamins, and minerals. It acts as a barrier, safeguarding overall health by preventing harmful bacteria and substances from entering the bloodstream. Absorbing beneficial nutrients and eliminating harmful substances enhances horses’ performance and allows them to reach their full potential. Supporting their immune and digestive systems helps horses cope with the demands of hauling, training, and adapting to changing environments.
Ready to ensure your horse is getting the optimum nutrition at feeding time, every time? Find the perfect feed formulated specifically for horse’s needs with our Feed Selector Tool.
This article was written with collaborative authors Heidi A., Emily L., and Christine W.