In 1992, Dr. Gordon Chang founded Canadian botanical supplement manufacturer Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals. His PhD in physiology and biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto led to a profound interest in creating scientifically formulated, all-natural human-health products. A decade later, Dr. Chang and his team began making supplements for horses too.
Omega Alpha’s equine line now encompasses more than 40 products, spanning the range of respiratory, joint, hormonal and immune health products and formulations for detoxification, muscle rehabilitation, endurance and performance and digestive aids.
Included in the latter category is the popular Biotic 8, which contains eight different strains of probiotics – “good” bacteria to promote healthy digestion, encourage proliferation of beneficial microorganisms in the hindgut (cecum and large intestine) and prevent growth of harmful bacteria.
Probiotic potency is measured in colony-forming units (CFUs). In many cases, the majority of CFUs are destroyed by stomach acids before they even reach the hindgut, explains Dr. Chang. “In our laboratory studies, we showed that approximately 80% of them were killed.”
To increase the number of CFUs successfully landing in the hindgut, Dr. Chang and his team added soluble fibre as a unique carrier system to Biotic 8.
“Horses produce copious amounts of saliva when they eat, which reacts with the fibre to create a mucilaginous base to trap and protect the probiotic,” he says. “We know from our research that a high percentage of CFUs survive passage through the stomach. The more that survive the better chance you have of them implanting and doing their thing. If you sow 80 billion grass seeds onto a patch of grass, you’ll have a lot better lawn than if you threw 20 billion seeds.”
Like all Omega Alpha’s products, Biotic 8 is manufactured to strict pharmaceutical standards and backed by many years of laboratory studies and veterinary clinical trials. The powder is administered in 10-gram scoops twice daily, with each serving delivering 16 billion CFUs. It also contains prebiotics; three digestive enzymes; slippery elm and marshmallow root to soothe stomach irritation; brewer’s yeast (source of B vitamins); flax seed (Omega 3 essential fatty acids); plus, spirulina and kelp (minerals and micronutrients).
Omega Alpha manufactures nearly 300 products through its five divisions: consumer, pet and equine health; Alpha Science Laboratories (professional human health); and AlphaVet Science (professional animal health).
For more information on Biotic 8 and Omega Alpha Pharmaceuticals, head to omegaalphaequine.com.