Thursday, September 3, 2009

Benefits of Prebiotic Dog Food

Advantages and Benefits of Prebiotic and Probiotic Dog food

Health Benefits of Prebiotics and Probiotics for Our Pets

I found this great, detailed, thorough article outlining the benefits of Prebiotic and Probiotic dog food. I thought this was great, although a bit wordy so I have summed it up and changed some wording. This was written by Randy Kidd who has a PHD (knows what he's talking about)

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Article Source: Randy Kidd, DVM, PhD

Lately people have become more aware of how important their dogs health really is. Recent dog food scares have made this even more evident for pet owners. As a result, dog owners are now looking for dog food for their dogs that support health and nutrition (not just keep them full). In this article, we will take a look past basic nutrition, at beneficial food ingredients called prebiotics and probiotics that are present in natural dog foods or can be added to prepared dog food.

In both natural dog food and prepared dog food, prebiotics and probiotics create health benefits related to their interactions with the microflora (tiny organisms) in the dogs digestive tract. In addition, both prebiotics and probiotics have health-providing activities of their own, independent of interaction with the dogs digestive tract.

The health benefit of prebiotics, in dogs and people have only come to light in recent years, but recognition of the beneficial effects of probiotics actually dates back to the 19th century when the French scientist, Louis Pasteur, postulated the importance of micro organisms to human life. So, what exactly are prebiotics? They are, by definition, non-digestible food ingredients that beneficially affect the host by selectively stimulating the growth of one of a limited number of beneficial bacterial species in the colon. Beneficial bacteria include Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which have the potential to improve host (you or your dog) health, while at the same time working to inhibit the growth of pathogenic, "bad-guy" microorganisms. In other words, prebiotics are "health food" for beneficial bacteria.

For a food ingredient to be classified as a prebiotic, it has to be demonstrated that it is:

  • Not broken down in the stomach or absorbed in the GI tract.
  • Fermented by the gastrointestinal microflora.
  • Selectively stimulates the growth and/or activity of intestinal bacteria associated with health and well-being.

Probiotic bacteria, when taken together with prebiotics that support their growth, are called "synbiotics" that promote the probiotics' benefits. Several commercial products available for both humans and dogs now contain prebiotics, and other products contain both prebiotics and probiotics.

So I know what you are thinking, blah blah blah, enough with the nerd talk. Well the article goes into GREAT detail so I will skip to the good part

Benefits of Prebiotic Dog food (and Probiotic)

Prebiotics may have a number of beneficial actions for your dog, including:

  • anticarcinogenic (anti-tumor)
  • antimicrobial, hypolipidemic (decreasing circulating fats in the bloodstream)
  • glucose-modulatory (the ability to help maintain normal blood glucose levels) activities

In addition to providing intestinal and general, overall health, some prebiotics have been used pharmaceutically for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including the following:

  • Intestinal infections
  • Constipation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • A variety of tumors
  • Protect against osteoporosis
  • Help correct problems of fat or glucose metabolism

Pretty awesome eh?

Well dont just go and load your dog full of prebiotics! To much of a good thing might not be so good. Prebiotics should be given in low dosages. To stay safe it would not hurt to buy the dog food with prebiotics already in it ;)

If you would like to learn more about Prebiotic dog food and there advantages you could always visit the Iams or Eukanuba website. Also check out our Iams ProActive Health food review and Eukanuba Prebiotic dog food review

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