Feed additives

News 1703 views last update:14 Jan 2016

Better immunity when horses get probiotics

Horses supplemented with probiotics have enhanced clearance of intestinal parasites and improved faecal consistency, Kentucky Equine Research (KER) reports on its website. But more research is needed on this topic.

Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms, including Lactobacillus species, Bifidobacterium species and yeasts that may beneficially affect the host upon ingestion by improving the balance of the intestinal microflora of animals.

Probiotic capsule tested in horses

In a study, published in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, a commercially available probiotic containing both S. boulardii and P. acidilactici (one capsule containing 1 billion live particles per 200 lb of body weight) was tested for 68 days.

Effect on systemic immunity

Supplemented horses did indeed demonstrate some effect on systemic immunity compared to horses that received a placebo; however, statistical significance was not reached for some outcomes.

More research needed

The researcher of this study suggests that the lack of significance could be due to either inadequate dose or product failure and that additional studies are warranted, while the "preliminary evidence suggests a possible role for [probiotics] use in the horse."

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