By Candace Leak
Yesterday when I was walking through the grocery store, I noticed that a lot of food manufacturers are touting probiotics and prebiotics, especially in the yogurt section. If you are like me, you probably find it hard to keep up with all of the nutritional information – What’s good? What’s bad? What’s all the hype about? Below is a brief introduction to probiotics.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria. Everyone has good bacteria living in their body. The idea behind consuming probiotics as part of your diet (or giving to your pet) is based on the theory of competitive exclusion. This theory is that there are not enough resources for both the good and bad bacteria to thrive in your body. So, if you replenish the good bacteria, they will flourish and will out-compete and eventually displace/kill off the bad bacteria. (Learn more about this theory here )
What is the difference between PRObiotics and PREbiotics?
Probiotics are the live organisms. Prebiotics are nutrient fibers that probiotics live on. So, when you take probiotics, you are ingesting live organisms. When you take prebiotics, you are taking nutrients to feed and help the probiotics already in your system to thrive.
What ailments are probiotics supposed to help?
You will most often see probiotics used to optimize digestive health. My vet recommended probiotics when Able had chronic diarrhea. I noticed a HUGE difference. You may also see products that help with wounds as many infections are caused by an over-abundance of bad bacteria.
At Cain & Able Collection, we have a wonderful Oral Hygiene Probiotic designed specifically for your dog. Plaque is bad/non-beneficial bacteria that builds up in the mouth from the foods consumed. The Oral Hygiene pray replenishes the good bacteria in the pet’s mouth, which reduces plaque and prevents tarter. (Tarter is simply dead, calcified bacteria.) An added benefit of reducing plaque and preventing tarter is the prevention of bad breath and neutralization of odors.
Something else to consider…
If you decide that probiotics are going to be part of yours or your pet’s diet, make sure to find probiotics that are produced through a natural fermentation process that utilizes organic and natural ingredients. Look for the words Non-GMO, meaning that the product does NOT contain any genetically modified organisms.