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Yeast police

by Marty Adams, Ph.D, Article donated by the mane points horse resource center.

Owners are careful to avoid moldy hay and grain, but not all mycotoxin-contaminated feed has the characteristic dust or color that warns of potential danger. Aflatoxin and fumonisin are two mycotoxins of particular concern. Grain that is contaminated with aflatoxin can cause liver damage, tumors and a decreased immune response. In mares, aflatoxin decreases reproductive performance, increases embryonic death rate and causes birth defects. Fumonisin can cause equine leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM), staggers, unilateral blindness and lameness. 

Other related complications of mycotoxin ingestion in horses include colic, neurological disorders and paralysis, reduced intake and growth, and hypersensitivity.

Derived from yeast cells and possessed of unique properties that make them valuable additions to the diet, MTB-100 and Bio-Mos are two of the latest weapons in the feed technology arsenal that help in fighting back. MTB-100 effectively neutralizes mycotoxins, including aflatoxin and fumonisin, present in hay and grain. It binds the mycotoxins, and they are not

absorbed into the bloodstream. MTB-100 does not bind vitamins, minerals or other nutrients important in a horse s diet.

Equine diets contain a variety of carbohydrates which provide energy. Some carbohydrates have functional properties in the equine digestive tract, such as the physical role of fiber in promoting sound digestive function. Bio-Mos is a source of a unique functional carbohydrate called mannanoligosaccharides. These mannan sugars are not digested in the intestinal tract and have been found to benefit digestive function and intestinal health.

Certain pathogenic bacteria, like E. coli and Salmonella, have traits that differentiate them from beneficial bacteria in the equine digestive tract. One trait common to many pathogenic bacteria is that they attach to the lining of the gut through a mannan sugar. If these bacteria are able to adhere to the intestinal cells through this attachment, they begin colonizing the gut, and can form a large enough population to damage the intestinal lining or cause a systemic infection. However, if bacteria can t attach to the gut, they do no harm.

Bio-Mos prevents E. coli and Salmonella from attaching to the gut by plugging the mannan binding sites of these pathogenic bacteria. The end result is that they pass out harmlessly in the manure. There is also evidence that Bio-Mos stimulates the protective immune system of the intestinal tract.

Both of these all-natural feed additives that help protect against unseen contaminants and variations in feed quality are in Respond and Triple Crown feeds and supplements. The Beginnings line is fortified with Bio-Mos.

Read the next horse nutrition article on Body Condition Chart to Determine Health.
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