Probiotics, but do they really help?


Probiotics are having a moment. They’re touted as the next big superstar in disease prevention and in treatment for ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, gestational diabetes, allergies and obesity. Fans claim that these “good” bacteria will nourish your gut microbiome and crowd out the “bad” microbes. As a result, you’ll experience better digestion, a healthier immune system and a sunnier mood.

Scientists and physicians are optimistic about the future of “good” microbes. Many probiotic and microbial-based compounds are moving to the next stages of research and clinical trials. Researchers hope this will illuminate how gut microorganisms interact with specific diseases and medical conditions, yielding more-targeted and therapeutic probiotics. “We’ll see a new wave of probiotics coming out that can be used to treat disease” in the coming years, Kashyap predicts.

Until then, it’s anyone’s guess whether taking a daily dose of bacteria will help you.

Because probiotics are sold as food and dietary supplements, they aren’t subject to the same regulation that the Food and Drug Administration exercises over drugs. (Supplements don’t have to prove their effectiveness before being sold, though the FDA can intervene if problems are found once they are sold.) That means the products may not actually contain live bacteria or even the type and number of bacterial strains promised on the packaging.

“There’s no way to confirm what is listed on the box is what is in the box, that it’s safe and useful, and that it will help you,” Kashyap says. For example, an examination of 16 probiotic products in 2015 found that only one contained the bacterial strain listed on the label of every tested sample.

“Right now, we can’t predict who’s going to feel better and who’s not,” Kashyap says. Some people don’t feel any different when taking the supplement, while others say it’s made them healthier. read more...

Shop for all Probiotics Supplements by clicking here…

Risk for Ulcers in Horses


Now that the show season is at hand, owners’ are probably aware of their competitive partner’s risk for developing gastric ulcers. With two out of three performance horses affected, it’s important to ensure equine athletes are at peak health. But don’t forget about the horses that stay home. Even horses that don’t travel or compete are at risk for ulcers.

“Wherever there is stress, there can be stomach ulcers,” says Hoyt Cheramie, DVM, MS, manager of Merial Large Animal Veterinary Services. “Horses may be stressed by everyday situations that don’t seem stressful to us, like spending large amounts of time in a stall or when their friends leave the barn.”

He says some situations that can cause them include:

  • Light training;
  • Short-term travel;
  • Trailering;
  • Change in routine;
  • Change in feed schedule;
  • Limited turnout or grazing;
  • Lay-up due to sickness or injury; or
  • Social regrouping.

Cheramie notes that removing horses from social groups could be one of the major contributing factors to an increased incidence of stomach ulcers in those left at home.

“Off-site training and showing can cause a disruption in social groupings and can be anxiety-provoking for some,” he says. “Horses form strong emotional bonds with their stable-mates so when they are separated, it can be very upsetting for both horses.”

Social grouping disruptions are also more common when spring arrives, as it often heralds a busy time for everyone, es

pecially those with broodmares. Foaling season means additional stress not only on mares and foals, but also for other horses, as well, due to increased activity in the barn at irregular hours.

Know the Signs of Ulcer Presence

“Stomach ulcers are prevalent across all breeds, disciplines, and ages,” Cheramie says, adding that they can develop in as litt

le as five days. “Because it is not so much the behavior but rather the change in behavior that signals the possibility of a physical problem, horse owners need to know what is normal for their horse and what is not.”

Watch out for clinical signs of ulcers, which include:

  • Decreased appetite;
  • Weight loss or poor body condition;
  • Change in attitude for the worse;
  • Recurrent colic;
  • Dull hair coat; and
  • Less-than-optimal (poor) performance, resistance to work, or difficulty training.

Read more…

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Effect of Probiotics/Prebiotics on Cattle Health and Productivity

Probiotics/prebiotics have the ability to modulate the balance and activities of the gastrointestinal (GI) microbiota, and are, thus, considered beneficial to the host animal and have been used as functional foods. Numerous factors, such as dietary and management constraints, have been shown to markedly affect the structure and activities of gut microbial communities in livestock animals. Previous studies reported the potential of probiotics and prebiotics in animal nutrition; however, their efficacies often vary and are inconsistent, possibly, in part, because the dynamics of the GI community have not been taken into consideration. Under stressed conditions, direct-fed microbials may be used to reduce the risk or severity of scours caused by disruption of the normal intestinal environment. The observable benefits of prebiotics may also be minimal in generally healthy calves, in which the microbial community is relatively stable. However, probiotic yeast strains have been administered with the aim of improving rumen fermentation efficiency by modulating microbial fermentation pathways. This review mainly focused on the benefits of probiotics/prebiotics on the GI microbial ecosystem in ruminants, which is deeply involved in nutrition and health for the animal. Read more…

Promote greater livestock health with Probiotics

Probiotics are known to help with human digestive health. Same theory applies to animals, no surprise here.

As a result of this, many cattle producers have begun transitioning to probiotics, which are also known as direct feed microbials (DFM). Unlike antibiotics, which are drugs which kill bacteria (both harmful and health-promoting ones) probiotics are live cultures of beneficial bacteria. By introducing them into an animal’s diet a cattle producer can, in theory at least, promote greater animal health and resistance to infection by replenishing the healthful bacteria in their cow’s gut.

Read more….