Re: Probiotics

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

--- In EquineCushings@..., "elitehptrim" wrote:

A nurse told me that if we give the horse vitamins or probiotics they loose the ability to do without these. I seriously doubt this. I would like other opions on this though. Thanks
Nope. Absolutely not true.

Probiotics are live bacteria that are believed (but not often proven) to have positive health benefits. When you put bacteria into an intestinal tract or a culture dish, their survival depends on whether they have enough food specific for their needs, and other factors that would not inhibit their growth and survival, like pH.

Foals populate their sterile guts at birth with everything their mouth touches - from dirt and manure to mom's body and teats. Horses continue throughout their lifetime to come in contact with surfaces with bacteria (virtually everything) and retain the ones that can flourish in their intestinal tract. They don't need a supplement source.

Vitamins come from both diet and those synthesized inside the gut by bacteria. Supplementing them doesn't change that. There can be vitamins that always need to be supplemented because their level is inadequate, but supplementing those vitamins doesn't change how much they use from other sources.

Eleanor in PA
EC Co-owner
Feb 2001

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