Ingredient Spotlight: Chicory Root
Chicory root is revered for being a potent source of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that has been linked to improved gastric health. There are a number of foods that can bring inulin to your horse's diet, but this month we are highlighting this little gem: chicory root, an inulin-rich food represented in our Season’s Spring/Summer feed blend.
Benefits in the Equine Diet
Inulin increases beneficial bacteria in the gut.
According to research, supplementing with inulin raises populations of good bacteria strains in the gastrointestinal tract.. These bacteria play a role in fighting off pathogens, improve digestion and boost the absorption of nutrients from food.
Inulin heals the gut lining to improve leaky gut syndrome.
The walls of the gastrointestinal tract have a mucosal layer that allows penetration of key nutrients into the bloodstream while simultaneously preventing pathogens from escaping into the body. Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal walls have become too permeable, allowing inflammatory substances to escape. Glycoprotein is the main constituent of the gut’s mucus lining. A report published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the inulin found in chicory root promotes glycoprotein synthesis.
Inulin increases the absorption of calcium and magnesium from food.
Studies have shown that inulin boosts the body’s assimilation of calcium and magnesium from food. Since the use of proton pump inhibitors has been linked to impaired absorption of these key ingredients, adding inulin to the diet may have far reaching effects in the overall health of horses prone to Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome and/or Leaky Gut.