Which? Prebiotic or Probiotic?

Many people use the terms prebiotic and probiotic interchangeably, but they are vastly different!

Probiotics

…are live cultures, usually of the lactobacillus or acidophilus families. Since probiotics are live cultures they begin to die as soon as they have been removed from the medium they are grown with. When you buy live cultures as a probiotic the bottle will tell you how many billion “colony forming units” are in the bottle or each dose. That’s true when the probiotic bottle is filled, unfortunately the moment the bottle is filled those colony’s begin to die, so expiration dates are particularly important with any live culture. Something else that affects the efficacy is approximately 90% of live cultures are killed in the acid bath of the stomach.

Another thing to consider is this: there are literally thousands of strains of microbes in a horses gut system, of those about 130 are important and roughly 30 are really important. Different strains of microbes digest the different nutrients we present to the horse; the reason we gradually change feeds is because new strains of microbes are needed to digest the new feed we present to the horse. So, how do you know the limited varieties of live cultures you are giving to your horse are what he or she needs to digest what it is being fed? You don’t and there is every possibility those microbes you are feeding, of which only 10% get through the acid bath of the stomach, are not the strains of microbes the horse is using to digest it’s food.

Have you ever heard someone say: “I give my horse a hot bran mash when it’s cold to help him warm up.” What happens is this…the horse doesn’t have the proper bacteria to digest the bran mash, so it slides right through the gut making a big mess on the floor or the walls of the stall. Horses heat themselves by eating forage which is fermented in the cecum which in turn gives off heat which warms the horse. That bran mash flushes everything out of the gut system so the horse has to start with forage again in order to start up it’s internal furnace. Not too smart in my book.

Prebiotics

…are microbe food that feed whatever strains of microbes are doing the work of digesting the nutrients the horse is fed. Pretty simple, huh? So, instead of trying to figure out what strains of microbes are working in the horse’s gut to digest whatever nutrients it’s presented with, Forco just feeds the microbes doing the work. Way easier, straightforward and more effective than probiotics.

Note: If you are interested in what veterinary researchers have to say, I’ve included several links to articles you may find helpful. Caveat: Most publications don’t permit reuse of entire articles I’m citing here on commercial web sites so, instead, I’ve quoted some of the salient points presented in the articles.

Learn more on the following page…