Tag Archives: Probiotics

Answers Pet Food Beats FDA

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I believe that probiotic bacteria are a missing nutrient in the diets of our pets. Think about it, the ancestors of dogs and cats were regularly exposed to bacteria in their food from the intestines of their prey. Here’s more information on the benefits of probiotics. With all the health benefits of probiotics, it makes sense that pets need them as a regular part of their diets.

The Answers Raw Pet Food Company has recently proven the benefits of probiotics. In the past few years the FDA has been policing the pet food industry to be sure they are free of disease-causing bacteria. (You may have noticed the recent uptick in pet food recalls.) Since food made with raw meat is prone to bacterial contamination, the raw pet food industry has been a favorite target of the FDA.

For this reason, raw pet food companies have been forced clean up their foods. For many this has meant resorting to High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP). HPP basically is the use of very high pressures to kill the bad bacteria. The concern I have about that strategy is that if there is enough pressure to kill bacteria then there may be enough to damage nutrients.

Answers has taken a different strategy to fight disease-causing bacteria. They use fermentation to culture probiotic bacteria in their foods. These good bacteria compete with the bad bacteria for resources and overwhelm them. That sounds good in theory, but does it work?

Recently the FDA cultured salmonella from a batch of Answers’ food. (The culture technique the FDA used killed off all the probiotic bacteria). The agency then tried to force Answers to do a recall on their food. But Answers fought back.

Answers took a sample of the supposedly contaminated food and incubated it at 80o F for 48 hours. This would cause the bad bacteria to greatly multiply in any other raw food. But just the opposite happened. As the people at Answers anticipated, the “spoiled” food tested negative for salmonella. The good guys won. The mighty FDA was forced to back down.

Does your pet get probiotics?

Probiotics Can Help Pets Lose Weight

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A recent study found that children who were given antibiotics were more likely to be overweight. The more antibiotics the kids got, the fatter they got. If this is true for people then it is most likely true for pets as well. But what’s the connection between taking antibiotics and weight gain? I can answer that with one word: probiotics!

I have written here about the many benefits of these friendly bacteria that live in the GI tract. We have 10 times more bacterial cells in our bodies than we have body cells. That means that from a cellular perspective, we are more bacterial than we are human. No doubt pets are similar to us in this respect. One of the many effects of probiotic bacteria is that they seem to regulate the body’s weight.

Antibiotics kill bacteria. In fact, the word “antibiotic” comes from the words “against life.” If a pet is infected with disease-causing bacteria, then antibiotics can help. Unfortunately, while they’re helping, they’re also hurting. Antibiotics kill the good gut bacteria along with the bad bacteria. Antibiotics give with one hand and take away with the other.

I have written here about the health problems linked to being overweight. My biggest concern is that being overweight promotes inflammation and predisposes to cancer. Keeping pets at their ideal weight has been shown to delay the onset of chronic disease and lengthen lifespan.

There are times when antibiotics are needed. When your pet gets a course of antibiotics, be sure to follow that ups with a 2-3 week course of probiotics. I’m not talking about the Purina or Iams probiotics. Those only contain one strain of bacteria. The best probiotics have a full spectrum of bacteria and are from natural sources – like Answers fermented goat’s milk.

Do you give your pet probiotics?

Do You Have a Neurotic Pet?

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Who doesn’t?

This study found that, for people, the consumption of fermented foods helped to reduce neuroticism and social anxiety. It seems reasonable to think that the same could be true for pets. (And, believe me, there are a lot of pets with anxiety issues).

The researchers relate that the most likely reason for the mental improvement is that fermented foods contain probiotic bacteria. This idea makes sense because of the importance of the hormone, serotonin.

Serotonin is a key player in brain health and mood. In fact, SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) such as Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft are powerful drugs used to treat depression and anxiety. They have their mood altering effect because they increase the levels of serotonin in the brain.

It may surprise you to hear that 95% of the serotonin in the body is made in the intestine. Probiotics have been shown to effect serotonin levels. I had a gut feeling about that.

I have previously written about the importance of probiotics. However, the thing I like about this study is that it is about fermented food and not specific probiotic supplements. You see, while veterinary medicine has recently embraced the use of probiotics for certain symptoms, they have taken the typical, Western approach.

Western medicine researchers tend to find something that has a positive effect (herb, fermented food). Then they isolate the “active” ingredient. Now they sell the single element as a drug or “natural” supplement and expect to get the same health benefits at the original, natural substance.

For example, both Purina and Iams have come out with their probiotic supplements. But, each of the supplements contains only one specific strain of one specific bacterium. It may have a definite effect, but it will not balance the gut’s bacterial environment and build health. Fermented food does that.

That’s one reason that I really like the products of Answers Raw Food Company. They deal with possible disease causing bacteria that can be found in raw food by fermenting the food. The natural probiotic bacteria inhibit the pathogenic bacteria. Think about it, that’s the way we preserved food before refrigeration. It makes sense and it’s good for your pet.

Have you tried Answers?