Supplementing the diet of horses with a form of baker’s yeast had no apparent effect on feed digestability in a Brazilian study involving 10 Arabian horses.
Fecal yeast and bacterial counts, volatile fatty acids and serum endotoxin levels were unaffected by the supplementation, the researchers reported.
No differences were found between when the horses were in work and when they were not.
Alexandre Augusto de Oliveira Gobesso and his colleagues from the University of São Paulo, writing in the journal Livestock Science, noted that probiotics used in horse diets are not always evaluated for their effects.
They reported on their study involving 10 Arabian geldings in which the team investigated supplementation of live yeast Saccharomyces cervisiae NCYC 996.
The study was designed in a way that the horses received two identical treatments (with and without the yeast) and two periods (with and without exercise).
The yeast was sprinkled on their meals at a rate of 7.5 grams per meal.
They said more studies were needed to clarify important aspects of the effects on intestinal microbiota in horses when probiotics are used in their diet, as well as any influence training may have.
S. cerevisiae has been crucial in winemaking, baking, and brewing since ancient times.
Effect of yeast supplementation on digestibility, fecal microbiota and serum endotoxin levels in non-exercising and exercising horses
A.A.O.Gobesso, G.V.Pombo, R.L.Costa, Y.S.Pereira, K.Feltre.
The abstract can be read here.