What are Probiotics?
Every animal has bacteria in their digestive system that help to digest food. The balance of trillions of bacteria in the intestine includes both beneficial (good bacteria) and pathogenic (bad bacteria) microorganisms. Maintaining a balance of these bacteria aids in digestion and overall health.
Probiotics are good bacteria that can help boost the levels of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria in the gut. The word probiotic means “for life,” the opposite of antibiotic. Antibiotics indiscriminately kill both bad and good bacteria. Probiotics, or Direct-Fed Microbials (DFMs), can help return an animal’s intestinal microflora back to healthy, normal levels.
The benefits of probiotics are unique to each species and even further defined by the specific strain. Probiotics are living bacteria and are therefore sensitive to conditions such as pH, moisture, and temperature. The strains in Probios® microbial products have been carefully selected to survive the manufacturing process and storage in quantities meeting the label guarantees. These strains also remain viable under the harsh conditions of the animal’s gastrointestinal tract, meaning every guaranteed bacterium (expressed in Colony Forming Units or CFU) will be available to the animal.
Most Probios® products contain lactic acid bacteria including Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum. Select Probios® products contain Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus licheniformis bacteria.
Benefits of Probiotics
Research has shown various strains of probiotics can benefit digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune health. Other studies show connections between a healthy gut and performance, oral, and skin health.
Starting Life with the Right Bacteria
Animals are born without bacteria in the gut. Bacteria quickly populates the intestine by natural means from the mother and the environment. Probiotics provided at birth can help create the optimal environment for the growth of good bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria found in probiotics help create a positive environment in the gut through changes in the pH. A healthy gut helps maintain natural immunity.
Supporting Nutrient Absorption
Certain probiotic strains may influence enzyme activity, increasing nutrient absorption by the animal. This is especially important for food animal producers trying to stretch forage resources. Probiotics help the body in breaking down food so the animals can get the essential nutrients from their diet.
Maintaining Healthy Digestion
Probiotics are ideal for use during birth, weaning, traveling, and after antibiotic treatment to help maintain the natural beneficial bacteria. When an animal’s gastrointestinal microflora becomes unbalanced, they may experience digestive upset. Probiotics help to maintain healthy digestion and appetite.