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Prebiotics & Probiotics - Part 1

prebiotics & probiotics for your cat and dog

Have you ever enjoyed a great meal but your bloated afterwards or have acid reflux? Or need to munch on some chocolate to boost your mood? This is your body's way of telling you something is fundamentally out of sync. The same happens to your pet, as gut health is super, super important to both yours and your pet's overall well-being. 

Just to give you some background; whether it's for you or your pet, the gut has a level of intelligence that scientist now recognise as essential to dictating how our bodies respond. We now know the gut has the second largest concentration of nervous tissue after the brain and spinal cord. The bugs in the gut are considered by some scientists as functioning like an organ themselves. The gut has a direct, intimate communication to the brain (we've all had the feeling of butterflies at one time or another).

This communication superhighway is based on nerves. The major nerve in charge of this data flow is called "The Vagus" It runs directly from the base of the brain all the way down through the spine, chest and into the abdomen. This nerve controls most of the organ function from the neck down into the gut, the overall health of the brain and even our moods.

All guts have their own form of nervous system that functions separately from the brain, so much so that scientists have named the gut the "little brain" as it has an ability to influence the conscious brain and overall activity of the body.

Both the brain and the gut are intimately connected and more and more studies are showing that the gut's performance has a direct impact on the brain's performance. The gut has its own intelligence to process digestion as well as generate responses separate from the brain, such as, whether it's happy or not with the food that's been eaten.

Added to this, science is now demonstrating that 95% of the serotonin (the chemical that drives calmness and contentedness) in the body is produced and stored in the gut for communication to the brain. 

60% of the serotonin produced in the gut comes directly from the food digested and the bacteria (some people call them 'microbes', meaning tiny being or living thing) that live in the gut - they help stimulate serotonin production.

Activity in the gut is communicated to the brain via the Vagus nerve and has a direct impact on how the brain deals with emotional regulation and moods. Basically, this means the food you and your pet eats, and the level of good, happy flora in the gut, play a massive role in moods, sensitivities, appetite and overall well-being. Scientist know that gut health has a link to depression, the development of allergies, and even the ability to endure pain. OMGut!

Both for you and your pet, truly are what you eat. 

One of the quickest ways to resetting the gut flora for happiness is through healthy eating and the use of both prebiotics and probiotics: gut happy on the inside, person/pet happy on the outside!


What is a prebiotic & a probiotic? And what's the difference?

Probiotics are live, 'good' bacteria you eat that act like seeds to introduce good happy bugs into the gut (the bowel and colon). 

Naturally, within the body, there are about a thousand different strains of microbes (bacteria). Probiotics enrich this fundamental, healthy, group of bacteria that the body needs within the digestive tract for even its most basic function; microbes help with the digestion of food and elimination of waste and when these bacteria are out of balance it can cause real issues to your pet's (and yours) overall health.

Probiotics, or friendly bacteria, have a huge impact on health. They help in protecting the immune system, help with detoxification, make B vitamins and help provide nutrients that the body needs. They are essential energy providers for the function of all the major organs in the body like the liver, adrenal glands and kidneys.

Prebiotics are more simple, – they are just 'bug food' – they are soluble plant fibres that help the good gut bacteria grow and flourish.

In the simplest terms, think of both the pre- and pro- biotics like a garden; probiotics are the seedlings you need to plant, nourish and feed to keep growing in order to bare healthy fruit.

Prebiotics, are the soil; they feed essential nutrients and energy to the seeds (probiotics) to allow them to take root and grow. Prebiotics are needed to set the foundation for probiotics to grow and survive.


How would pre/pro-biotics impact my pet's health?

Prebiotics and probiotics work in harmony with each other to provide optimum gut health. One without the other, or if they are out of sync with each other, means the gut will always be out of balance and simple things like allergies and skin disorders can begin to develop through the resulting inflammation.

Beneficial bacteria within the body work together within the same space for nutrient absorption and digestive health. When gut bacteria are out of balance or are attacked by bad unfriendly bacteria through poor diet or antibiotics (which kill of the good bacteria), then we can see inflammation, bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation and bad breath.

The more damaging and longer-lasting an impact the bad bacteria have on the good gut bugs, the more likely the chance of these uncomfortable effects developing into serious chronic disease such as depression or mood disorders in your pet, obesity, auto-immune diseases, heart issues and even cancer. These associations are well known in human medicine. We strongly suspect the same is true in our fur-babies.

Inflammation is the primary cause of most diseases. To eliminate inflammation, prebiotics work in conjunction with probiotics to enable healthy bugs in the gut to thrive, giving your pet optimum digestive health – the bedrock of overall good health.

Prebiotics and probiotics should be seriously considered as an essential item in your home pharmacy. They can form the backbone of your pet's preventative medicine strategy.


Where are prebiotics and probiotics found?

 First and foremost, pre- and pro-biotics are found within a healthy diet. If your pet is eating a heavily processed diet such as kibble or tinned foods, full of sugars and starches, then it's more than likely their gut health is being compromised. Their poor internal environment allows bad bacteria to flourish, at the expense of beneficial bugs. 

This imbalance will have a big impact on the overall health and wellbeing of your pet. Gut health is fundamental; one of the body's first defences in fighting inflammation, disease and infection.

Many naturally occurring probiotics are found in fermented foods or foods containing live bacteria, such as unsweetened, live, yogurts or fermented goats milk products. It's good practice to rotate the source of the probiotics for optimum gut health. Prebiotic sources are found in whole plant foods such as vegetables, fruit (berries are best), nuts herbs and seeds.

If your pet is eating our Authentica range, and you're buying our products in season, then these prebiotic and probiotic elements are naturally taken care of. Our use of ingredients such as organic apple cider vinegar, chai seeds, almonds, coconut and real whole vegetables and fruits do all the work for you.

To help maintain good microbes in your pet's gut, try to stay away from antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs, taken by mouth, as much as possible.

Also, pre and probiotics could be introduced into your pet's diet through supplements as a way to help rebuild the digestive system, but it's absolutely essential that you buy a good quality product that has live strains of bacteria and go for products as natural as possible for gut health to blossom.

Check out our "Happy Belly" product, it can be used year-round when given monthly. Made from 100% natural ingredients, it will help create beneficial gut changes and acts as a replacement to natural foraging. It supports all aspects of your pet's health, including gut balance, and can help your pet if they need to rebuild digestive health after veterinary treatment or a bout of disease.


Can I give a prebiotic without a probiotic and vice versa?

Yes, but for optimum gut health, using the prebiotic and probiotics together is ideal; remember probiotics are the seeds and pre-biotics are the soil. If you give both together, you're much more likely to see everything rosy in the garden!

If you had to choose one over the other then we would suggest you start with a good natural prebiotic. Later, switch to probiotics and then, long-term, continue with a healthy diet, preferably a raw diet, as it's more species-appropriate for your pet and will help the digestive system to naturally rebuild itself.

A healthy gut can also be impacted by outside elements such as stress, so reduce stress your pet may be exposed to see our article in your dogs behavior and first aid kit to help you elimate some of the basic problems.

If the gut is not right, the pet is not right. To be healthy your pet needs a healthy gut. It's the foundation for preventing illnesses developing into more serious chronic disease. A good rule of thumb to get started and maintain gut happiness is:

FEED it (prebiotics), SEED it (probiotics), GROW it (healthy raw diet).


NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback, LEAVE A COMMENT. Are you going to start giving your pet pre/probiotics? Feel free to share this with people you think will love it.


Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

Resources

https://www.prebiotin.com/prebiotin-academy/what-are-prebiotics/prebiotics-vs-probiotics/
https://draxe.com/prebiotics/
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/probiotics-and-prebiotics
https://draxe.com/
https://www.drberg.com/
http://drhyman.com/
https://www.bodybuilding.com/author/thomas-delauer http://emeranmayer.com/
Dr Mercola

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

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