Posted by on 10. February 2022

Insulin resistance and diabetes – as studies on humans have shown – are significantly influenced by the intestinal bacteria, i.e. by the type of intestinal flora.
It is even possible to use the type of intestinal flora to predict whether someone has a normal glucose metabolism, prediabetes or metabolic syndrome, or manifest type 2 diabetes.

This is also true for the EMS.

How is this possible?

Intestinal bacteria digest the food we eat. Different strains of bacteria digest different parts of the food and produce different metabolites.
These metabolites have amazing effects both locally – i.e. in the intestine itself – but also in distant organs such as the muscles, the liver and also in fatty tissue.
They influence the immune system, mitochondria, glucose consumption, and much more

Local effect

The metabolites control the proliferation of certain bacteria of the intestinal flora and intestinal motility.

Effect in distant tissues


In the liver, intestinal bacterial metabolites control gluconeogenesis. In brown fat cells, glucose utilization. Also, appetite and in muscle, glucose uptake.
They control the immune system, mitochondria, cell renewal and the course of inflammatory responses.

Example: succinate in EMS


Origin: succinate originates from the citrate cycle and thus from carbohydrate digestion. It is produced by humans or animals themselves as well as by intestinal bacteria.

It must be kept in balance at a certain level. Therefore, both succinate-producing bacteria and succinate-consuming bacteria exist in the intestine and must not displace each other.

Effect: Succinate in norma amounts improves the consumption in intestinal gluconeogenesis and thus contributes to a regulation of sugar levels.
However, if it is present in high amounts in the organism – as can be demonstrated in individuals with high BMI or EMS – it has exactly the opposite effect.

Treatment and prevention of EMS


This is why it is so important to pay attention to the carbohydrate content of the ration, to increase the consumption of carbohydrates through work and exercise. Too little is as unhealthy as too much.


In addition, secondary plant substances such as bitter substances, rasveratrin, catechins, ferulic acid, linolenic acid should be present in the horses ration.
These play an important role in the regulation of the intestinal flora and in the substitution of missing metabolites from the intestinal bacteria. Therefore, in the treatment of Equine Metabolic Syndrome, phytotherapy can be of excellent help. It can be used both for therapy and prevention.