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Progres® has previously been shown to improve performance and to reduce intestinal disturbances of broilers, turkeys, piglets and calves. The basis for these performance benefits seems to be the ability of resin acids to reduce the inflammation-induced degradation of connective tissues in the intestine and to balance the composition of intestinal microbiota. The effects have been similar regardless of the animal species and therefore Hankkija recently launched Racing Progres® Oil in Finland, a new supplementary feed for horses containing Progres® and linseed oil.

Horses are susceptible for intestinal disturbances

Stress, changes in feeding, antibiotic treatments, parasites and many other things can cause intestinal disturbances in horses with diarrhea, reduced appetite and weight loss as the most common symptoms. The common feature for these intestinal disturbances is that they cause variable intestinal inflammations. In the worst case, this can lead to chronic intestinal inflammations. Research has shown that resin acids can reduce the inflammation induced problems in animals.

Inflammation is an intra-tissue process which aims at removing the damaged cell tissue and healing of the tissue. However, when developing chronic the inflammation causes more harm than benefit. Inflammation process activates certain enzymes which are called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). These enzymes are degrading the intestinal connective tissues such as collagen and tight junction proteins. Escalation of the process damages the epithelial integrity which is reducing nutrient absorption and letting harmful substances to enter the bloodstream. Animals can cope with short term inflammation but a chronic inflammation is extremely harmful.

Resin acids reduce the inflammation induced degradation of intestinal tissues

Research at the University of Ghent, Belgium showed that resin acids addition in feed reduces the collagen degradation of small intestinal tissue and thus supports the normal functions of the intestine. Studies by Alimetrics Ltd. in Finland demonstrated that the secretion of MMP enzymes that are degrading intestinal tissues is reduced in resin acids fed animals.

Hankkija’s research program has further shown that Progres® fed animals have less signs of intestinal inflammation, such as inflammation cells in the intestinal tissue or inflammation biomarkers in feces. These have been associated with better performance of broilers, turkeys, sows, piglets and calves. In dairy cows, resin acids addition in feed reduced mastitis and other inflammations after calving.  


As a summary, it can be stated that the resin acids of Progres® supports intestinal integrity by reducing the amount and activity of collagen degrading enzymes in the intestine. Due to its universal mode of action, Progres® can support the intestinal condition of horses under many different challenges. In field tests at individual horse stables Progres® has reduced diarrhea and supported the recovery of horses with weight loss problems.