When we design diets for young animals, it is important to avoid ingredients that can cause gut damage before spending money on additives that enhance gut health.
What we tend to forget, however, is that we often create unnecessary gut distress by feeding the wrong diet, or rather by using the wrong ingredients. Such is the case when ingredients cause either outright increased oxidative stress or inflammation that also leads to oxidative stress. The latter case is difficult to appreciate, but ingredients that induce inflammation also lead indirectly to oxidative stress, which creates a vicious cycle where oxidation causes more inflammation and so on. At the end, gut inflammation from dietary causes can be as damaging as inflammation caused by chronic subclinical infections by pathogens. This is because the result is the same: loss of appetite, gut infrastructure damage, reduced performance, diarrhea, and even death due to secondary complications from opportunistic microorganisms.