How is Amaferm Different From Other Equine Digestive Health Products?

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Something occurs almost daily that can shift the microbial population in the gut of a horse causing it to become unhealthy, thereby increasing the number of “bad” microbes and reducing the number of “good” ones. The vet comes to vaccinate, the farrier digs out an abscess, a new load of hay arrives, a horse gets the wrong feed or has to travel to a show. All these events can cause digestive stress and disrupt the microbes in the hindgut.

Perhaps, these disturbances are the reason that the second most commonly used equine supplements (behind joint) are for digestive health. Digestive health is a key component to overall equine health. So, that explains why Smartpak has at least 25 different digestive support supplements and Valley Vet Supply has about 84. These supplements are overwhelming to compare and contrast. However, one should begin by understanding the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic.

Despite the similarity in their names, prebiotics and probiotics are not two different forms of the same ingredient. They are actually two completely different ingredients. To be considered a probiotic, the bacteria must be alive when administered and remain viable when it reaches the digestive tract.  These “live” additives provide “good” microbes or bacteria to the animal.  One thing to remember about a probiotic is that this “life” can become death with the heat, the cold or other environmental challenges for the product.

Prebiotics on the other hand are not alive and are working not to add, but to enhance the naturally occurring growth and benefits of the good microbes that already reside in the hindgut.

So how do you choose which digestive support supplement to buy?  Ask for the answers to the following four questions:

Is the product backed by research?
Many products conduct field trials to prove their benefits, however, products that have published
research display results that are verified by outside parties as representing what they say they represent.

Is there specific proof that the microbial included actually enhances digestion?
It is important to make sure that the microbial in the product is actually legitimate, its mode of action is documented and its positive benefits are proven as an aid to the health of the beneficial microbes involved in digestion. For example, there is research that shows that prebiotics as a class have a positive impact on equine digestion but you will want to know if the specific ingredient used in your product has its own proof.

Is the product produced at a facility that is NASC or HACCP certified, which means it uses documented quality processes?
Unlike drugs, these “neutraceuticals” are not required to undergo any quality assurance measures or current good manufacturing practices unless the facility where they are manufactured is NASC or HACCP certified, meaning they ensure safe, pure, potent and effective products.

Is the product shelf stable or is it’s effectiveness impacted by temperature, humidity etc.?
Because probiotics contain living organisms, storage of the product is important and it must be used before any expiration date included on the label. Prebiotics differ from probiotics in that they do not need to contain live bacteria. This allows them to not be impacted by storage, sunlight, temperature, humidity or time.

The following chart summarizes the differences between some popular products on the market as it relates to these four questions.

Product

Cost/Day

Probiotic, Prebiotic
or Both

Digestive Enzymes

Hindgut Acid
Protection

Proven
Mode of Action

Effectiveness
Backed by
Published Research*

NASC/HACCP Certified
Manufacturing

Product Shelf Stable

Amaferm®
Digest More

$0.29

PRE

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

Grand Digest

$1.50

PRE

YES

YES

YES

NO

YES

YES

TractGard

$0.60

PRE

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

YES

Probios

$0.76

PRO

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

Yea-Sacc

$0.48

PRO

NO

NO

YES

NO

YES

NO

SUCCEED

$3.48

PRE

NO

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

Smart Digest

$0.57

BOTH

YES

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

Fastrack

$0.81

PRO

YES

YES

NO

NO

NO

NO

Lifeforce

$1.10

PRO

NO

NO

NO

NO

YES

NO

Amaferm® Digest More is a pelleted prebiotic that produces digestive enzymes and can help maintain a neutral pH in the hindgut for acid protection. A neutral pH reduces the incidence of colonic ulcers (which often accompany stomach ulcers).  Because it is a prebiotic, its shelf life is very stable and not impacted by heat, light, humidity, etc.

Amaferm Digest More includes a proprietary strain of Aspergillus oryzae manufactured in a HACCP certified facility from a proprietary process yielding a product that has a research proven mode of action as a prebiotic. This prebiotic has been extensively researched by universities and private facilities worldwide with over 111 peer reviewed published papers that prove its impact on the microbes.

The Amaferm Digest More product has also been research proven relative to its effectiveness on the horse in which those microbes reside.  A.L. McDaniel from the University of Georgia, published research that showed Amaferm Digest More increased the fermentation capacity of the digestive ecosystem, thereby providing digestive health to the horse.

*Information is based on an internet search and is considered any research done on the product specifically that is published in a scientific journal, magazine or newsletter.

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