SUCCEED™ Digestive Conditioning Program by Freedom Health, LLC

*Updated June, 2021

  • Best Trait = Blend of digestive aid ingredients
  • Worst Trait = Cost per serving

Consider this product if…

  1. You feed a performance sport horse in aggressive training/competing
  2. Your horse shows symptoms of digestive discomfort
  3. You are breeding and producing high performance foals

Alternatives

Management strategies that lower stress, increase forage intake, and increase time grazing out on pasture.
Some fortified feeds contain similar digestive aids.

Company Information & Communication

Rating: 3 out of 5.

There is a LOT of information to ‘digest’ at succeed-equine.com! I will do my best to distill what I found and regurgitate to you in palatable form (ok I’ll stop with the feed puns). Being extra curious about this supplement, I decided to spend $219 of my own money to take the “SUCCEED 60 Day Challenge” with my preliminary event horse, Stella. A gastroscopy within the last month shows no ulceration of her stomach, however increased grinding of teeth during grooming, girthing, and blanketing made me suspicious of possible hindgut inflammation. With our first competition of the season looming near, I decided to throw some money at it. That’s what us horse people do, right! But first, let’s review the claims. This product is unique in that they hold patents on the formula.

Claims made by patents held by Freedom Health, LLC

  1. Dietary supplement and method for increasing the colostrum immunoglobulin levels in equine mares. According to the patent owned by Freedom Health, LLC, a controlled study of 24 thoroughbred mares (unknown if they were randomized) found increased immunoglobulin levels in blood and colostrum when on the supplement for 90 days pre-foaling. The overall assumption made my this patent and related articles is that ingredients in this supplement will stimulate and enhance the horse’s immune system from the digestive tract. When the horse’s immune system is robust, they spend less energy fighting pathogens and more energy towards your chosen performance metric. Now, before you get too excited, keep reading about studies that contradict these claims and the cost!
  2. The dietary supplement of the present invention is beneficial to the health of equines and other animals.
  3. Patent numbers 7824706, 7993669, and 7988989 show errors when searched at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm

Remember how I said not to get too excited… A 2020 randomized control study by a Brazilian university, found no significant effect of yeast or beta-glucan on mare’s colostrum quality. Also, a study abstract in The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science (Lernia et al., 2015) also reported no effect of oat beta-glucan on stress markers in horses with head elevation for 12 hours. See references at the end of this review. Now these studies are not equal. The supplement product listed in the 2010 patent included four elements- seed oil (polar lipids), beta-glucan fiber, amino acids glutamine and threonine, and mannan-oligosaccarides- while the other studies are limited to beta-glucan alone or beta-glucan with yeast culture extract. Are you confused yet? So am I, and this makes me hesitant to spend more money on this product.

Long story short…despite days of research on Google Scholar and the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, I could not find CONSISTENT evidence to support beta-glucan as a digestive aid in horses. I dug through peer-reviewed articles listed on their website, articles listed on other beta-glucan supplement websites, and more recent journal articles (both horse, human and other livestock), and just could not find ENOUGH evidence to securely and confidently give two thumbs up for beta-glucan. Due to inconsistencies in research findings, I give this supplement three stars for evidence.

Feeding Directions

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Freedom Health, LLC recommends that you double dose this product for the first 10 days via a paste before transferring to one scoop a day of the granules. Considering that my mare hates tubes near her mouth more than ANYTHING, I found this step inconvenient.

Each scoop is 27 grams. Considering that most yeast culture supplement products offer 20-50 grams of product per serving, this is within normal ranges for a yeast based digestive aid. However, considering that the supplement is big on beta-glucan from oat flour, I’m curious how much is in this product. A referenced study by Braaten et al. (1994) gave humans 70 grams of product, so …yea….

Ingredients List

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The SUCCEED® Digestive Conditioning Program product contains four basic types of ingredients; seed oil, oat products, yeast products, and amino acids. The ingredients list includes Oat Oil, Oat Flour, Yeast Products (beta glucan, nucleotides, MOS), L-Glutamine and L-Threonine. There is certainly nothing wrong with these relatively simple, safe list of ingredients, but whether or not it’s worth the enormous cost is the important question. Continue reading.

Horse Related References to Support Ingredient Claims

van den Berg, Mariette, et al. “Fecal pH and microbial populations in thoroughbred horses during transition from pasture to concentrate feeding.”Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 33.4 (2013): 215-222. This study showed that species of Streptococcus and Lactobacillus, starch loving microorganisms, increased as thoroughbred fillies in were taken from pasture only diets to increasing levels of alfalfa and grain diets. That grain diet increased to over 11 pounds per day in 14 days. The fecal pH did not change significantly. This study has nothing to do with digestive aid supplementation.

Human Related References to Support Ingredient Claims

Braaten JT, Scott FW, Wood PJ, et al. High beta glucan oat bran and oat gum reduce postprandial blood glucose and insulin in subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. Diabet Med 1994;11:312-8. Total cholesterol was lowered in 19 male and female humans over a 4 week period of randomized, cross over designed study. Dosage was about 70 grams of oat bran which is about 80% beta-glucan. SUCCEED™ Digestive Conditioning Program offers 27 grams of product per day.

Tappy LE, Gugolz E, et al. Effects of breakfast cereals containing various amounts of beta- glucan fibers on plasma glucose and insulin responses in NIDDM subjects. Diabetes Care 19(8):831-4.

Czop JK. The role of beta glucan receptors on blood and tissue leukocytes in phagocytosis and metabolic activation. Pathol Immunopahtol Res 1985;5:286-96.

Guaranteed Analysis

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A guaranteed analysis for this type of product is not very useful. The feed label shows guarantees for crude protein, threonine, glutamine, fat and fiber. Because feeding less than 27 grams of crude protein, fat or fiber is meaningless, I’m going to ignore those guarantees. Glutamine is not an essential amino acid for horses as it is produced in the body, so I’m going to ignore that too. The only one worth calculating and comparing is threonine which the NRC (2007) suggests an average 1,100 lb horse in moderate work needs roughly 20 grams of threonine in total diet. If this product has a minimum of 1.8% (I’ll calculate 2% to be kind) threonine than a 27 gram scoop would offer 0.5 grams. To compare, the Uckele Tri Amino supplement offers 2 grams of threonine per scoop.

Cost

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I took them up on their 60 day challenge at $219 for 60 days (including a starter pack), because I’m a “serious horse person”! That’s $3.65 per day! Yikes, that’s more than my double dose of joint supplement. Considering that a bag of oats from the feed store costs about $18 ($0.36 per pound) and a simple yeast culture supplement starts at <$1.00 per day, I’m starting to wish that I had not taken up their challenge. This is one of the more expensive supplement products that I’ve come across in any category. Once the product arrived for my 60 day challenge, I realized that much of that cost if likely due to packaging. Administration of this product by way of syringes is not only labor intensive, it also creates a great deal of waste and added cost.

Summary

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I want to like this supplement… I do. But the daily cost for only marginal benefit means that I give this supplement a 3 star rating. There is nothing outright horrible about this supplement, but I would prefer to make major management changes (that are FREE by the way) like greater turnout, more physically affective fiber, better parasite management, and decreasing stress to make my horse marginally more healthy. I could also add a great yeast culture product for a third of the price!

*Update: After 60 days on the SUCCEED product, I submitted one email with details of my purchase and effects on my horse. The company sent a refund within 30 days in the mail. Their 60 Day Challenge guarantee promise was upheld.

Valigura, H., Leatherwood, J., Martinez, R., Warzecha, C., and S. White. 2019. Dietary supplementation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product attenuates exercise-induced stress markers in young horses. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, 76:48.

Garber, A., Hastie, P., and J. Murray. 2020. Factors Influencing Equine Gut Microbiota: Current Knowledge. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. Volume 88.

Sobral, G.G., K.G.S. Michilles, O.C. Gomes Neto, A.M. Silva, J.W. Pinheiro Júnior, D.G.N. Bezerra, M. Mendonça, B.B. Santana a, G.F. Carneiro. 2020. Effect of Supplementations with Saccharomyces cerevisiae and b-Glucans in Pregnant Recipient Mares on the Colostrum quality: Preliminary Results. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 89.

Lernia, M.R., J.M. Bobel, J.R. Abbott, M.T. Long, and L.K. Warren. 2015. Oat beta-glucan does not mitigate changes to leukocyte populations in response to stress. Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. 35:386-387.

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