Why should we use probiotics or prebiotics?


Probiotics are living microorganisms that are thought to have a beneficial effect beyond their nutritional value, but their exact mode of action is uncertain. Prebiotics are nondigestible foodstuffs that can stimulate the growth and / or activity of the microbial population of the gut, thereby producing a healthier gut environment and providing beneficial effects with the potential to promote short-chain fatty acid formation. There are only a few published studies investigating the effects of probiotic and prebiotic products in horses. Most of the conclusions that its use is beneficial are based on human studies.

Dried yeast and yeast extracts - (examples of probiotic supplements) are thought to increase the microbial population of the large intestine thereby enhancing the digestion of fibrous material. In some studies on yeast use, contradictory results have been found. However, there are some studies that report an increase in the microbial population, improvement in the colon environment and improvement in feed and pasture digestibility, especially when fed with poor quality feeds.


To be a true probiotic supplement, it is recommended to follow the United Nations and World Health Organization Guidelines (FAO / WHO, 2002).