Biotics this! Biotics that! Pre and Pro and Post, but what does it all mean?
Probiotics tend to be the topic we all know at least a little bit about —microscopic bacteria that is friendly to the gut, and plays an important role in GI health. Right! But what are prebiotics, and what the heck are postbiotics, what do they have to do with probiotics, and what do all of them have to do with health?
Let’s break it down. We’ll start with a quick review of probiotics.
Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that love to live in the gut, and make it a happy, healthy place! We all have bacteria, both good and bad, in our bellies, and so do our pups! It’s important to keep up the level of good bacteria, so that it can:
- Keep bad bacteria under control (bad bacteria doesn’t like to party with the good guys) (Healthline)
- Through the production of postbiotics, and conversion of fiber into short-chain fatty acids, they nurse the walls of the gastrointestinal tract to keep them happy and functional (Heathline)
- Help reduce irritation in the GI and improve symptoms resulting from GI irritation (Heathline)
- Improve immune function and skin health (Heathline)
Probiotics come from the fermentation process of certain foods and, as they are widely available in supplement form, can be easily implemented in your pup’s diet. Check your local independent pet supply retailers for their selection of probiotic supplements, and consider adding goat’s milk and/or kefir milk into your pup’s daily routine.
Probiotics come in seemingly infinite varieties, and it is actually super important to have a variety of strains, or diverse microbiome, present in the body.
However, to benefit from having such a diverse selection of bacteria in one’s gut, one has to feed the bacteria so that it can thrive. This is what prebitotics are for.
Prebiotics are the fibers “soluble, fermentable fiber, a type of nondigestible carbohydrate, also called resistant starch” (Whole Dog Journal) in particular foods. These fibers actually feed probiotics!
Consuming foods high in prebiotic fibers helps promote the survival of probiotics and their production of postbiotics.
Foods That Your Pup Can Have Which Contain Prebiotics:
Chicory root, which contains the fiber, inulin.
Beet pulp, Gums (like guar gum NOT CHEWING GUM), and wheat dextrin (Benefiber)
It is important to note that “probiotics and prebiotics are best given together” as too much prebiotic action without the appropriate probiotics to process it, can result in loose stools. (Whole Dog Journal)
Postbiotics, or Postbiotic Metabolites, are actually the product of well fed, healthy probiotics. Probiotics “transform the food [eaten] into “hundreds of thousands of metabolites.” These super little postbiotic powerhouses include food transformed into amino acids, vitamins, and short-chain fatty acids all of which aid in and promote healthy bodily growth and function.
Looking For A Great Source Of Probiotics For Pups!
Goats Milk and Kefir Milk are excellent supplemental probiotic foods for your pup.
And they make great fun frozen treats! Check out our popsicle recipes!