Is There Any Benefit to Yeast Cultures in Horse Feeds?

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A leading feed company recently published, through their online blog, information concerning the lack of benefits of yeast cultures in horse feed diets. This company is also one of the only companies in the US that does not include yeast cultures in their feeds based on “in house” research. In actuality, independent research analyzing the advantages of yeast cultures in horse feeds has been examined over the past 20 years. The American Assn. of Feed Control Officials (AFFCO) defines yeast cultures as “the dried product composed of yeast and the media on which it was grown, dried in such a manner as to preserve the fermenting activity of the yeast.” The most recent National Research Council (NRC) recommendation states “Variation in observed responses between studies may be attributed to differences in the amount of yeast supplementation being fed, composition and treatment of diet interaction, and diet adaptation time. Results across the studies suggest some potential benefits to feeding yeast when high starch or low fiber diets are being fed. Improvements in nutrient digestibility, especially nitrogen, are suggested, but the exact mechanism for this response is not evident. Constant feeding of yeast may have greater potential for mediating an effect as compared to sporadic supplementation.” As with most nutrients in horses, the NRC does suggest further studies.

An article written by Dr. Amy Gill can also be viewed on our website at The hindgut of the horse acts as the horse’s main engine and will determine the horse’s overall health. Yeast cultures have been proven to help the hindgut function more efficiently. Also, as research indicates, using the correct type of yeast culture specific to equines, in the correct amount (Triple Crown guarantees the amount of yeast culture as Saccharomyces Cerevisiae) and feeding daily are all keys to the success of adding yeast cultures to your horse’s diet.

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