In recent years, the equine supplement market has exploded with products to support digestive health in horses. Among a wide variety of supplement types, ingredients, and purposes, probiotics and prebiotics have emerged as the most commonly known classification of supplements for gut health.
An unfortunate side effect of this notoriety is that many people now attempt to classify all digestive health supplements as a probiotic, prebiotic, or both. But while this may be accurate for some products, it’s not true for all.
Here’s a quick tutorial in what probiotics and prebiotics actually are and how these classifications apply to supplements. We’ll also explain why SUCCEED isn’t just a prebiotic, as many erroneously believe. (Also be sure to check out a previous Monday Myth, explaining how SUCCEED does a lot more than just support gastric, or stomach, health).
Probiotics and Equine Digestive Health Supplements
Probiotics, also known as direct-fed microbials, are live microorganisms contained in a feed or supplement product that are thought to support the beneficial microbial population in the digestive tract. The idea is that these live microorganisms add to the population of good bacteria, aiding digestion and combating potential imbalances in the hindgut.
Common probiotic ingredients include strains of lactobacillus, bacillus, and enterococcus as well as others. Supplements may include only these types of ingredients and be only a probiotic. Other supplements may include these among other ingredients, and include probiotics.
The difficulty with probiotics is that the research is slim regarding which specific types of bacteria in probiotic supplements may be helpful or harmful. And the bigger problem is that each horse has its own unique bacterial environment in the hindgut, which is established in the first few days of life and also influenced by its individual diet.
Learn more about probiotic supplements and why they may not be the best option for supporting hindgut health.
SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program does not contain any probiotic ingredients.
Prebiotics and Equine Digest Health Supplements
Prebiotics are inert, non-digestible ingredients, typically complex sugars, that serve as a nutrient source for the beneficial bacteria already living in the horse’s hindgut. Prebiotics are intended to stimulate the growth and/or activity of the existing microorganisms so the beneficial bacteria remain in force and healthy.
Types of prebiotic ingredients include mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), fructooligosaccharides, psyllium, and inulin.
As with probiotics, some digestive health supplements may contain only prebiotic ingredients, while other have these along with others for additional support.
SUCCEED Contains Prebiotics – and More
It’s a myth that SUCCEED is just a prebiotic supplement for horses. While SUCCEED does contain yeast, a source of MOS, it is included for a variety of direct benefits and not just prebiotic effect. And SUCCEED also has other ingredients that support various elements of the horse’s whole digestive tract. Supporting the health of the hindgut’s microbial population is just one piece of a much bigger picture.
- Oat Flour (beta-glucan): SUCCEED® contains oat flour rich in a soluble fiber called beta glucan, which has been shown to help moderate transit time in digestion. This can allow for more efficient digestion of processed feeds in the small intestines as well as a moderating the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
- Yeast: contains two extracts of yeast that support a healthy hindgut and natural immunity in horses and also encourage the growth of intestinal villi.
- L-Glutamine: an amino acid that provides fuel to muscles. It also supports the immune cells in the intestinal mucosa (the lining of the gut).
- L-Threonine: an essential amino acid, supports the production of mucin, necessary for the production of mucus that lubricates the GI tract lining.
- Oat Oil (polar lipids): the oat oil in SUCCEED is rich in polar lipids, fat molecules that can help strengthen intestinal tissue in the gut and provide a conduit for getting nutrients into the bloodstream.
SUCCEED is just a prebiotic = myth. While SUCCEED does contain prebiotic ingredients, it also has much more in it to support the health of the whole equine gut.