Journal of animal science2007; 86(2); 316-323; doi: 10.2527/jas.2006-782

Effects of dietary short-chain fructooligosaccharides on the intestinal microflora of horses subjected to a sudden change in diet.

Abstract: Prebiotic compounds, such as short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS), have been shown to improve health, welfare, or both, in several species, but few studies have been conducted in horses, despite the sensitivity of their hindgut microflora. We hypothesized that prebiotic oligosaccharides, known to be able to stabilize the intestinal microflora in other species, would be of importance in horses. Our study was designed to evaluate the effect of scFOS supplementation on the equine intestinal microflora and to assess its effectiveness in reducing hindgut microbial disturbances related to sudden diet changes. Four adult geldings were allotted by weight into 2 groups and assigned to diets with and without (control) scFOS supplementation for 21 d in a crossover design. Cecal and colonic contents were collected through cannulas to assess the effect of an abrupt incorporation of barley in the diet of horses on microbial populations and fermentation variables. The addition of barley to the control diet caused substantial changes in the colonic microflora, such as increases (P < 0.05) in the concentration in total anaerobes, lactobacilli, streptococci, and lactate-utilizing bacteria. The scFOS supplementation reduced the barley intake-related changes. In contrast to the control diet, Lactobacillus and Streptococcus populations did not increase. Although the colonic d-lactate concentration increased (P < 0.05) after the meal of barley in the control group, it did not accumulate with scFOS supplementation. These data indicate that a scFOS supplementation would be effective in reducing disruptions of the microbial populations in the equine hindgut under stressful situations like acute starch overloads.
Publication Date: 2007-10-16 PubMed ID: 17940163DOI: 10.2527/jas.2006-782Google Scholar: Lookup
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  • Journal Article

Summary

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The research investigates the impact of dietary short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) on the intestinal bacteria in horses, particularly during sudden dietary changes. Findings suggest that scFOS can help reduce disturbances in the horse’s intestinal bacteria associated with abrupt diet adjustments.

Objective and Hypothesis

  • The aim of the research was to evaluate the impact of scFOS, a type of prebiotic, on the intestinal bacteria of horses when their diets are suddenly changed.
  • The researchers hypothesized that prebiotic oligosaccharides, which are known to stabilize the intestinal bacteria in other species, could play a crucial role in horses as well.

Research Methodology

  • The research used four adult geldings, divided into two groups by weight.
  • One group was assigned to a control diet without any scFOS supplementation and the other group was given a diet with scFOS supplementation. The horses were subjected to these diets for 21 days.
  • The abrupt incorporation of barley in the horse’s diet acted as a sudden dietary change.
  • The researchers compared the intestinal bacteria from the cecal and colonic contents of the horses, as collected through cannulas, under these altered dietary conditions to assess variations in microbial populations and fermentation variables.

Findings

  • The addition of barley to the control diet without scFOS supplementation resulted in a significant surge in certain kinds of bacteria, including total anaerobes, lactobacilli, streptococci, and lactate-utilizing bacteria.
  • However, the group with scFOS supplementation showed fewer changes related to barley consumption. Notably, Lactobacillus and Streptococcus populations did not increase.
  • Additionally, while the concentration of colonic d-lactate (indicating fermentation in the colon) increased after barley consumption in the control group, it did not accumulate in the group with scFOS supplementation.
  • The findings imply that scFOS supplementation could be effective in controlling the disruptions in the intestinal bacteria population in horses under stressful conditions like acute starch overloads due to sudden dietary changes.

Cite This Article

APA
Respondek F, Goachet AG, Julliand V. (2007). Effects of dietary short-chain fructooligosaccharides on the intestinal microflora of horses subjected to a sudden change in diet. J Anim Sci, 86(2), 316-323. https://doi.org/10.2527/jas.2006-782

Publication

ISSN: 1525-3163
NlmUniqueID: 8003002
Country: United States
Language: English
Volume: 86
Issue: 2
Pages: 316-323

Researcher Affiliations

Respondek, F
  • Bu00e9ghin-Meiji, 67390 Marckolsheim, France. frederique.respondek@syral.fr
Goachet, A G
    Julliand, V

      MeSH Terms

      • Animal Feed
      • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
      • Animals
      • Cecum / metabolism
      • Cecum / microbiology
      • Colon / metabolism
      • Colon / microbiology
      • Cross-Over Studies
      • Diet
      • Dietary Supplements
      • Fermentation
      • Hordeum
      • Horses / metabolism
      • Intestine, Large / metabolism
      • Intestine, Large / microbiology
      • Lactobacillus / growth & development
      • Lactobacillus / metabolism
      • Male
      • Oligosaccharides / pharmacology
      • Probiotics
      • Random Allocation
      • Streptococcus / growth & development
      • Streptococcus / metabolism

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