Digestive Support II – Yeast and the Farting Horse

horse fart

When you look at the ingredient list of many feeds and digestive supplements, you will see some sort of yeast inclusion.  Why is this?  How beneficial is it, and when do you need it?

The digestive tract is full of components and organisms that help the horse break down, digest, and uptake nutrients.  Yeast is a microscopic fungus that grows on plant sugars and certain cultures can enhance the activity of good (beneficial) hind-gut activity in your horse.  Not to be mistaken for curing hind gut issues, just enhancing proper activity.

Yeasts are high in B-Complex vitamins, and food yeasts are 40-55% protein and contain all the essential amino acids for complete protein utilization. Brewer’s yeast and distiller’s grains can be incorporated into equine diets as a means of increasing protein values.

Yeast improves utilization of feed and inhibition of pathogenic organisms. The yeast saccharomyces has similar benefits to probiotic bacteria and has been shown to reduce lactate and acidity in grain-fed horses.

Research indicates horses who consume large amounts of grain can enjoy improved fiber digestion when also fed yeast probiotics.

Another yeast, aspergillus oryza (also well known as the source for many extremely beneficial digestive enzymes), is often given as a prebiotic and a probiotic. It actually produces lactic acid (the exact opposite of saccharomyces), and provides a source of food for many beneficial bacteria.

So, where does the farting come in?

When fungi die off, flatulence increases.  Many of us pay close attention to changes in flatulence as it can indicate a gas build up and need for concern in certain situations such as colic.  When we see scenarios where the fungi may have been compromised, we need to prioritize replacing the fungi and building up a new level of support.

What causes the fungi to die off?  There are many things that can disrupt the natural flora in the digestive tract.  Things like stress, shipping, feed changes, high sugar feeds, hormone imbalances, antibiotic treatments, and worming to name a few.

So how important is it to purchase a digestive supplement with a yeast component in it?  If you have a horse that stresses, had changes in bowel movement frequency/consistency, travels a lot, or has had incidences of colic, it can be extremely beneficial.

Be careful.  There are many feeds out there that use added yeast as a selling feature, but very rarely do you see any of them list actual levels of inclusion for the yeast.  Paying extra for this potential gimmick leaves many disappointed with the advertised results.  Using a supplement with a listed level of yeast additive is always the best way to ensure your horse has the help it may need to keep a happy digestive tract.

If you have questions on finding the right digestive supplement for your horse, contact us at www.thefigureseven.ca


Digestive Support – what do all of those ingredients mean??


As with many supplements, it is so hard to compare one to the other based on a difference in amount and list of ingredients.

Supplement A has Ingredients XYZ.  Supplement B has ingredients YXA.  Supplement C has ingredients ZAB

So how do you determine which ingredients are the ones you want, and what levels are worthwhile for inclusion?

Too many times I’ve heard industry reps bragging about their level of ingredient A vs. the competitors level of ingredient A.  Depending on the ingredient, a difference of 100mg isn’t going to make or break one supplement over the other, and doesn’t justify a significant price gap.

So, over the course of the next few blogs, I would like to look at a few important digestive supplement ingredients and how they function in order to determine their value in a supplement.

Lets assume we are looking at a horse that may not have ulcers, but has possibly had them in the past and may be prone to relapse or have sub-clinical incidences.  This is a fairly common scenario.

Beta Glucans         beta

According to Wikipedia: β-glucans are a diverse group of molecules that can vary with respect to molecular mass, solubility, viscosity, and three-dimensional configuration.

Oats are a rich source of the water-soluble fibre (1,3/1,4) β-glucan, and its effects on health have been extensively studied the last 30 years. Glucans can be highly concentrated in different types of oat brans.

The differences between β-glucan linkages and chemical structure are significant in regards to solubility, mode of action, and overall biological activity.  So, not all beta glucans are alike (just to confuse matters more).

In some cases, Beta-1,3-D-glucan is taken and purified from common baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).  However, Frank Jordan, a Beta Glucan Expert states:

In its most effective form, Beta glucan is extracted from the yeast cell wall (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) of Baker’s yeast as Beta 1,3/1,6 glucan, as a purified isolate with harmful yeast proteins removed and a process that prevents reaggregation, or clumping after exposure to water in the digestive sequence.”

This is especially important as I have also heard sales reps imply that their beta glucan components come from the yeast in the supplement. Unless it is extracted, the beta glucan in the yeast component is non admissible.

How do beta glucans work?  James J Gromley of Smooth Run Equine paints an interesting and precise picture on Beta Glucan activity.

“The immune “connection” comes into play when we realize that there is a specific receptor site on a very important immune cell called a macrophage.  When Beta-1, 3-D-glucan attaches to the receptor site on the macrophage this immune cell is then “activated” allowing it to go about its business of attacking and destroying invading organisms.”

 “Macrophages participate in reducing inflammation and in the healing of tissues following injury.  The role of macrophages in inflammation is complex, involving the release of molecules that regulate activity of connective tissue cells.  In addition, macrophages secrete angiogenesis factors, that is, factors that bring on the development and growth of new blood vessels.  The same molecules promote growth of endothelial tissue and smooth muscle tissue.  Reducing the number of macrophages in tissues results in poor wound healing.”

So one can see how this ingredient would be an important inclusion in a digestive support supplement for horses prone to ulcers.  Now, what levels are significant?

Any level over 300mg has been shown to be beneficial in the diet.

Next, we will look at the importance of L-Glutamine, and L-Threonine in digestive support and healing.

For more information or a free consultation or a list of available supplements containing Beta Glucans, contact

The Figure Seven or jen@thefigureseven.ca


New Product Update – New Inventory

It has been awhile since we have added anything new and exciting to our extensive inventory.  However, with trade shows popping up everywhere, there is a sudden influx in interest in many great new products.

So, working away, we carry two new supplements -introduced below.  We have several more to follow over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

EPO-Equine_200pixles             EPO-Equine

The Only natural blood builder designed for safe daily use as a performance horse dietary supplement.

  • Naturally stimulates red blood cell production.
  • Optimizes oxygen levels & muscle performance
  • Supercharges speed, endurance & recovery

The hormone erythropoietin (EPO) is made by the kidneys to stimulate production of new red blood cells from bone marrow. EPO is a natural “blood builder.”

With EPO doping, trainers boost EPO levels to get improved performance. But they use a synthetic EPO (recombinant human EPO), even though the side effects can kill the horse. That’s why it’s illegal.

The great news is – there’s another option.

EPO – Equine™: a safe, highly effective natural, dietary horse performance supplement accepted by the racehorse community.

When we were formulating EPO Equine™, we made sure to include only proven nutrients for increasing EPO and red blood cells. When this happens your horse will experience dramatic gains in endurance and performance.

Click the links for more information on this product, or to order.


muscletone_big    Finish Line – Muscle Tone

Looking to tone it up for the show season?  Give this a try.  If your horse is in work, the 90 day difference will be amazing!

Muscle ToneTM, contains MYO-PROTM and a broad spectrum of ingredients to promote healthy muscle development and function in performance horses. Active Ingredients include Rice Bran Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, MYO-PROTM, Creatine Monohydrate, Methionine and Brewers Yeast.

While most muscle products on the market are expensive and show little improvement, this product is tested and proven to work!

Use these links for more information, or to order.