A study published by Kauter, A., Epping, L., Semmler, T. and other authors called “The gut microbiome of horses: current research on equine enteral microbiota and future perspectives. Anim microbiome” found that the evidence supporting the Probiotic use in horses is weak.
Many times they cite beneficial relationships in food products with the purpose of promoting a brand. However, and as this study demonstrates, in many cases the evidence is not enough.
We must be attentive because just as the evidence can be weak. We can be induced to give products that are really harmful to our horse.
Horse food marketing must be careful to show real results and we must be informed consumers. We leave this article published by horsetalkz
Evidence of probiotic efficiency in horses is weak
Evidence of probiotic efficiency in horses is weak. This is according to a just-published review, despite several supposed clinical applications, including acute enterocolitis and diarrhea in foals.
A German review team set out to examine current research on the gut microbiome in horses. They noted that products classified as probiotics had reached the commercial market, not only for humans but also for horses.
Experts defined a probiotic as “live strains of strictly selected microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”.
In the United States, probiotics can either be classified as a drug needed to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration, or as a feed supplement “generally regarded as safe” based on information provided by the producers, which removes the need for FDA approval.
In the European Union, probiotics are regarded as feed additives and gut flora stabilizers for healthy animals.
The EU applies very strict regulations for products labeled as probiotics. Producers need to prove product identity, safety and efficacy to a scientific committee.
So far, bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, Bacillus, Streptococcus and Bifidobacterium are considered as putative beneficial probiotics for horses, Anne Kauter and her colleagues reported in their review, published in the journal Animal Microbiome.
“Probiotics should be able to survive the extreme gastric environment, have an antimicrobial property against pathogens and adhere to mucus and epithelial cells,” they said.
Probiotics for horses are designed to reach and establish themselves in the large colon, where many diseases occur.
What was the results?
The review team noted that a recent study investigated the effects of multi-strain probiotics on the bacterial microbiota of foals during and after administration. Limited changes were found concerning the relative abundance of bacterial families, with an enrichment of Lactobacillus in the probiotic group only at week six.
“Yet, evidence of probiotic efficiency in horses is weak despite several putative clinical applications. This applications including acute enterocolitis, diarrhea in foals, as well as fecal sand clearance,” they wrote.
The authors noted that understanding the complex interactions of microbial communities. This microbial including bacteria, archaea, parasites, viruses and fungi of the gut with states of either health or disease is still an expanding research field in both human and veterinary medicine.
Gut disorders and their consequences are among the most important diseases of domesticated horses. But current gaps of knowledge hinder adequate progress in terms of disease prevention and microbiome-based interventions.
“Current literature on enteral microbiomes mirrors vast data and knowledge imbalance. With only a few studies tackling archaea, viruses and eukaryotes compared with those addressing the bacterial components.”
Published in: https://www.horsetalk.co.nz
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