Trivia Tidbits: What role do digestive enzymes play in a digestive supplement?

This week’s Trivia Tidbits question is: What role do digestive enzymes play in a digestive supplement?
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Last week’s answer: Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria that support hindgut health. Prebiotics are sources of non-digestible fiber and serve as a food source for the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, helping to keep them healthy.

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They are added enzymes that help the body break down the ingested food, to help the horse to digest it.


Since most molecules that bodies need to function come in the form of macromolecules, digestive enzymes are needed to break down these macromolecules into the constituent parts that the body can use. These monomers can be used for different reasons depending on what the initial macromolecule was. For example, if the macromolecule was a protein, the monomer would be an amino acid, which are needed for the making of proteins. Horses need digestive enzymes to break down the macromolecules ingested in their food to a more useful sized molecule. In the past horses would have naturally replenished their digestive enzymes, but the problem today is the lack of variety of grasses in pastures and the amount of processing that goes into grains that are given to horses. The processing eradicates the digestive enzymes in the grain and the lack of variety of grasses limits the amount of different molecules that can contribute to digestive enzymes in a horse’s body. Digestive enzymes in a supplement replenish the digestive enzymes in horses that they cannot now get from their food. Since stress and many other outside factors can also influence the amount of digestive enzymes in a horse's digestive system, digestive enzymes in a supplement can also help replenish in these situations as well.

Digestive enzymes play an important role in breaking down large molecules of food the horse ingested. Digestive enzymes break the large molecules down into smaller more absorb able molecules. Its important to remember that there are different digestive enzymes and each has a job to do. Each different enzyme targets a different nutrient that benefits a particular part of the horses body, whether it be creating new energy, building new tissue or cleaning the system.

      When the body is lacking digestive enzymes or they are not working properly you may notice signs of discomfort in your horse from colic symptoms, bad attitude and ulcers. Since digestive enzymes reside in all areas of the digestive track you may notice symptoms of discomfort from all areas not just the stomach.

       Therefore adding a digestive supplement to your horses food will help aid your horses digestive system in breaking down and absorbing the vital nutrients in their food that are then transferred to the rest of the body to act in their various ways.

Digestive enzymes are needed to break down macromolecules into pieces that are digestible.

Digestive enzymes play an important role in breaking down large molecules of food the horse ingested.


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