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BioStar Blog Articles — yeast

Foods for Circulation in Horses: The nitric oxide connection

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Nitric oxide (NO) is the master circulatory molecule in the body. Its function is to increase blood flow by dilating blood vessels. Nitric oxide is crucial for key physiological functions other than circulation, and...

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Benefits of Yeast for Horses

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Before exploring the benefits of yeast for horses, some appreciation is in order. Yeasts are fascinating microorganisms with over 1500 species currently identified. Yeast microbes may be one of the earliest domesticated organisms. Archeologists working in Egypt have found baking chambers for yeast-raised bread that date back thousands of years.

These organisms use organic compounds as a source of energy and do not require sunlight to grow, nor do they need oxygen in order to produce energy. Yeasts are naturally occurring on the skins of fruits and berries and on exudates like cacti, as well as in soils, on insects and on our skin. Even deep ocean environments host a variety of yeasts.

Fermentation:
Under anaerobic conditions (without oxygen), yeast converts sugar and starches into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This process is known as fermentation. Without yeast fermentation there would be no bread, wine, beer, root beer, Kombucha, or kefir. Without yeast fermentation there would be no industrial ethanol production. A wide variety of chemicals are now produced with genetically engineered yeast, including phenolics, alkaloids, and specific amino acids like Lysine. Some biopharmaceuticals are produced from yeast, including insulin, vaccines for hepatitis, and human serum albumin.

Yeast for horses:
The two most common strains of yeast used in equine feeds and supplements are S. cerevisiae and S. boulardii.  These yeasts function in the hindgut of horses helping to digest dry matter and organic matter. The yeasts are commonly fed in forms known as yeast culture or live/active yeast.

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