APRIL 7, 2021
Study linking gut bacteria to more efficient energy generation in the cells of horses paves the way for dietary supplements that enhance their performance.
A horse’s gut microbiome communicates with its host by sending chemical signals to its cells, which has the effect of helping the horse to extend its energy output, finds a new study published in Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences. This exciting discovery paves the way for dietary supplements that could enhance equine athletic performance.
“We are one of the first to demonstrate that certain types of equine gut bacteria produce chemical signals that communicate with the mitochondria in the horse’s cells that regulate and generate energy,” says Eric Barrey, author of this study and the Integrative Biology and Equine Genetics team leader at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, France. “We believe that metabolites — small molecules created by breaking down bigger molecules for food or growth — produced by these bacteria have the effect of delaying low blood sugar and inflammation in the cells, which in turn extends the horse’s athletic performance...”