What Are Probiotics For Dogs
Probiotics are living microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host this definition from the World Health Organization depicts the true nature of probiotics and their tribute to health.
Basically, the dogs digestive system is inhabited by billions of microorganisms primarily bacteria but also yeasts. Some of them are bad, and others are potential pathogens. Together these microorganisms are collectively called the microbiome, and under normal circumstances, they are in balance.
Sadly, many conditions and medications can throw this balance out of order for your dog. This is where probiotics can benefit them. They support the growth of good bacteria and prevent the potential pathogens from overgrowing and compromising digestive health and overall wellbeing.
Potential Side Effects Of Probiotics
According to a stu cvdy, probiotics are well tolerated with no safety concerns. However, same as any other supplement, they can cause side effects in overly sensitive pets. Luckily, the side effects are mild and transient and usually revolve around GI tract upsets loose stool or constipation, bloating, and gassiness.
The chances of developing side effects are higher when introducing new strains or switching probiotic brands. Side effects are also more likely to occur if the supplementation includes high doses, sudden implementation, and low-quality products.
How To Take Probiotics For Allergies
If youre hoping to grab a probiotic from your local drugstore instead of a traditional allergy medicine and hope for the same results, you might want to wait a while.
As of now, the most comprehensive meta-study has not been able to decisively identify any particular strain of bacteria that is specifically useful to treat seasonal allergies. Some studies contradict each other on which bacteria can treat grass pollen, and other studies will find that those strains the first two studies examined werent nearly as effective in their own trials.
The people taking the probiotics in the studies took them in a variety of methods, as well, in carefully measured and timed dosages. That means that adding some yogurt to your breakfast every morning during allergy season probably wont do much to help your sneezing and itchy eyes.
Some scientists are skeptical as to whether or not probiotics will ever work as well as our current antihistamines. If anything, theyre better suited to therapy, or treatment for those with very mild symptoms.
Others scientists are more hopeful. Finding out how exactly probiotics work in regards to allergies is an important step in that process. Some studies show that some strains of bacteria can affect how our T cells function. Others suggest that they may reduce the production of a part of the immune system called immunoglobulin E, which is produced in excess during an allergic reaction.
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Where Do Allergies Come From
Scientists agree that there is a genetic component to allergies.
Kids born to parents with allergies are more likely to develop allergies than children whose parents do not have them.
But in order to develop allergies, there must be an environmental trigger.
Unfortunately, our hyper-vigilance about germs and bacteria may actually cause more allergies to develop.
Researchers hypothesize that reduced family size, improved hygiene, vaccinations, use of antimicrobial medications, and the consumption of near sterile food have all decreased or altered our exposure to microbes.
As a result, our bodies do not always develop natural resistance to common allergens and we suffer from allergies that can range from mild nuisances to severe chronic conditions.
While these findings make sense, there is another missing piece that Body Ecology founder, Donna Gates, wants you to know about allergiesyour inner ecosystem.
In a perfect world, everyone would have a healthy inner ecosystem that keeps us in balance, just as the Earths ecosystems keep it in balance. In humans, however, this inner ecosystem is the health of your intestines and in essence, your digestive tract.
When your inner ecosystem is in balance, your intestines are teeming with the beneficial bacteria and yeast that keep your immune system strong.
With the right balance of beneficial microflora, you can fight off allergens and infections .
Probiotics To Remedy And Prevent Allergies
Fortunately, cutting-edge research reveals that probiotics may be a new way to prevent and remedy allergies. Probiotics is a term often used interchangeably with microflora, except that often, probiotics implies the microflora we can consume . Consuming probiotics can help boost your inner ecosystem and your immunity.
Researchers believe that in our sterile modern world, probiotics can encourage the production of antibodies in babies and children that can protect them from allergies later in life.
Probiotics play a substantial role in preventing allergies according to these studies2:
- Non-pathogenic E. coli was administered to infants to stimulate their immune systems. At 10 years old and 20 years old these children suffered from significantly fewer allergic diseases.
- Prior to delivery, expecting mothers received probiotics or a placebo. Following delivery, the children who received probiotics continued dosage for 6 months. After 4 years, only 26% of the children on probiotics developed eczema while 46% of those without probiotics developed the condition.
This is great information for those who may become pregnant in the near future. Allergies do not have to be passed down from generation to generation and can be prevented.
But for those who are already suffering from allergies, probiotics can provide much-needed relief.
Probiotics have been proven effective in the remedy of these allergies:
And these are just the specific allergies that have been studied.
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Why Do Allergies Develop
The reason why we develop allergies is still poorly understood, but it is a subject of great concern to the medical profession as these inappropriate physical responses are a growing concern worldwide6.
The World Allergy Organization warns that “the prevalence of allergic diseases worldwide is rising dramatically in both developed and developing countries.”
Allergies can take many different forms, encompassing reactions ranging from mild to dangerous anaphylactic reactions. Whilst food intolerances are generally the result of poor digestion or leaky gut, where incompletely digested molecules of food pass through into the bloodstream triggering an immune response from an antibody, or immunoglobulin. A true allergy involves the immune system, and in particular a specific immunoglobulin called IgE , which is implicated in anaphylaxis.
Health professionals can read more about leaky gut over on the Professionals site.
Allergies can also present without warning at any time, often affecting sufferers late in life and causing reactions to foods or environmental stimuli that have previously been well-tolerated.In particular, more and more children are presenting with allergenic symptoms, with the latest statistics indicating that more than 50% of children in the United Kingdom now suffer from some form of allergy.
S Ribosomal Rna Gene Sequencing And Microbiota Analysis
On Day 7, eight rats in the VD and CS groups were sacrificed for their intestinal content. On Day 21 and 70, feces were collected. Rat feces samples were rapidly frozen in liquid nitrogen and kept at 80°C. The FastDNA SPIN Kit was used to extract microbial DNA from fecal samples according to kit protocols. The V3-V4 regions of the bacteria 16S rRNA gene were amplified by PCR using the primers . The amplicons were subsequently purified by gel extraction and quantified by QuantiFluor-ST according to protocols. The purified DNA amplicons were then sequenced by Majorbio on Illumina MiSeq platform.
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How To Alleviate Seasonal Allergies And Digestive Problems
Supplying oral probiotics in adults with rhinitis – the stuffy nose that is often caused by seasonal allergies – was also shown to help, with Lactococcus lactis protecting against bacteria that cause pneumonia by increasing the rate of clearance of these pathogenic microbes from the lungs.
Last but not least, exercise, perhaps the simplest and least complex intervention, has been proven to increase microbiome diversity. In mouse models, this diet increased amounts of beneficial bacteria, Lactobacillus and Clostridium leptum, that protect against wheat allergy. Regular exercise also is linked to greater gut microbial diversity, yet another excellent reason to make physical activity part of your life.
Functional Medicine For Allergy Symptoms
Functional medicine is best suited to problems that are overlooked by conventional medicine.
Rather than prescribe an antihistamine or a pharmaceutical as the first step, we investigate why you are having these symptoms and in most cases, we can relieve symptoms naturally.
I offer online and in-person functional medicine appointments. During your hour-long new patient appointment we go over your entire medical history, family history, medical history, previous testing and current symptoms and goals. Based on what we find, I can order the specific testing to confirm your diagnosis and evaluate your physiology from a holistic perspective. Most of the underlying problems I find relating to severe seasonal allergy symptoms can be treated naturally and patients start to see symptom relief within weeks.
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Therapeutic Results Of Allergic Rhinitis With Probiotics
Recently, data from several published randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trials showed that probiotics had a treatment effect on allergic rhinitis. Furthermore, other studies figured out that the ingestion of probiotics resulted in a reduction of symptoms in children and adults with allergic rhinitis by reducing the allergic response to house dust mite. Published studies also demonstrated that L. casei reduced the number of rhinitis episodes in 64 preschool children with allergic rhinitis. Nevertheless, these results have been questioned recently by another trial that showed patients treated with LGG during the birch-pollen season that were allergic to birch pollen and apple food had neither reduction of symptom score, nor of sensitization to birch pollen and apple after probiotics supplementation. These indicate that probiotics may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of allergic rhinitis, but the therapeutic effect remains to be further investigated.
Gluten Sensitivity And Coeliac Disease
Issues digesting gluten are triggered by exposure to many grains, such as wheat, barley, and couscous. Coeliac disease is a severe form of intolerance which requires the affected person to cut out all foods containing gluten, which includes very common foods such as bread, cereal, and pasta. It is different to non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a milder health problem that may affect 5% of people.
Celiac disease sufferers experience autoimmune inflammation in the small intestine that is triggered by gluten, wherein the immune system attacks the body itself, which if left untreated can lead to conditions that affect other systems of the body, such as infertility, osteoporosis , and chronic fatigue.
Interestingly, 30% of the Caucasian and Western European population carries a gene that predisposes towards celiac disease, but only a small percentage of those with the genes develop celiac disease. The Atlas DNA Test searches for genetic predispositions towards lactose, alcohol, and gluten intolerance.
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Gut Microbes May Be Key To Solving Food Allergies
New therapeutics are testing whether protective bacteria can dampen harmful immune responses to food
As a child, Cathryn Nagler broke out in hives when she ate eggs. She reacted to penicillin. Working in labs after college, she developed a severe allergy to mice that caused wheezing, swelling and trouble breathing twice landing her in the emergency room.
Today, Nagler is an immunologist at the University of Chicago and is helping to pioneer an emerging research field: studying how bacteria in the gut can be harnessed to help people with food allergies.
It wasnt personal experience with allergies that inspired her interest. Rather, it was an odd observation she made as a doctoral student in the 1980s. She was studying mice whose immune systems go haywire and attack the collagen protein inside their joints, causing severe arthritis. Scientists could jump-start the disease by administering a shot of collagen under the skin. But, curiously, when Nagler later fed the creatures collagen using a tube that snaked down into their stomachs, it had the opposite effect: The mice got better.
But oral immunotherapy has downsides. The regimen can be nerve-racking, since it involves daily consumption of food that could kill. It doesnt work for everyone and does little to fix the underlying disease. Success mostly means gaining the ability to safely eat several peanuts, for example, rather than reacting to a speck of peanut flour.
A Study Six Years In The Making
Could this bacterial imbalance, or dysbiosis, be the reason so many children are developing food allergies today? To find out, Chatila and his co-authors embarked on a study that took six years to complete.
Rachid began by studying the evolution of gut bacteria in babies with and without food allergies. She and her team collected stool samples from 56 food-allergic patients and 98 matched controls. Georg Gerber and his colleagues at Brigham and Womens Hospital then analyzed those samples for changes in their bacterial content. These studies established that the bacteria in the feces of babies with food allergies were different from those of controls. But did those bacterial differences play a role in their food allergies?
To find out, the team transplanted fecal bacteria from the babies into a special strain of allergy-prone mice. They fed the mice small doses of chicken egg protein to sensitize their immune systems to this allergen, then challenged the mice with a large dose.
The results: Mice that had been given fecal bacteria from food-allergic babies went into anaphylaxis, while those given fecal bacteria from healthy babies did not. This was an important clue that dysbiosis was having an effect, Chatila says. The fecal bacteria from food-allergic subjects did not protect against food allergy, whereas the bacteria from control subjects did.
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Best Probiotic To Take If You Have Food Allergies
Whats a good probiotic to take if you have a food allergy? Well, in my opinion, the best probiotics really are based as part of your diet, so cultured and fermented foods. So sauerkraut or kimchi or kefir or these sorts of things. These are all okay if youre in reasonably good health, but if youve got a bad food allergy, no point dumping probiotics into the diet without first finding out what some of the key trigger foods are. Makes sense, doesnt it? So you may want to go and see your naturopathic physician or your doctor or integrative medicine doctor or whoever you see and ask for a food allergy profile. This will be a blood draw. A good lab, if youre watching this from the States, is US Biotech in Seattle. Theyre one of my favorite labs that I worked with for many years.
I gave up doing food allergy tests probably in the last five years of my practice. Im not practicing anymore, but as I got more experience I found I needed to do less and less because you could usually identify quite clearly what food or foods were the triggers with many people. And furthermore, if it wasnt a food allergy, you could also pretty quickly work out whether its an intolerance or an allergy, which are two different things.
About Eric Bakker N.D.
Eric is the past Vice President of the NZ Natural Medicine Association and is currently on their editorial advisory board.
Food Allergies And Intolerances Are On The Rise
Nowadays, allergy-friendly aisles have become commonplace in grocery stores, and many schools and restaurants offer dietary accommodations for individuals with food allergies and intolerances. However, food allergies and intolerances have not always been such a big concern. In fact, it is only within the past decade that the prevalence of these conditions has skyrocketed. Between 1997 and 2011, IgE-mediated food allergies increased by 50 percent in American children. In addition, research has found that more than 20 percent of the population of industrialized countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and China, suffer from food allergies or intolerances.
Despite the dramatic rise in food allergies and intolerances, few treatment options are available. Conventional medicine advises patients to strictly avoid their trigger foods and to have epinephrine on hand for accidental exposures. However, neither of these strategies addresses the underlying cause of food allergy and intolerance. Novel treatment approaches are desperately needed. An emerging body of research indicates that alterations in the normal human gut flora play a role in the development of food allergies and intolerances.Modulation of the gut microbiota may alleviate food allergies and intolerances and potentially restore tolerance to triggering foods.
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The Types Of Probiotics Using In The Treatment Of Allergic Rhinitis
Only a single probiotic strain was intensively involved in the studies of the treatment of most of allergic rhinitis, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus johnsonii EM1, Lactobacillus gasseri, Bacillus clausii, Escherichia coli Nissle 1917. However, recent studies have been starting to evaluate the treatment effect by using more than one strain of probiotics. For example, Lactobacillus GG and L. gasseri were used in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, and the combined treatment effect of L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis were also determined. A probiotic mixture VSL#3 , which contains eight different probiotic strains were used in their study. Review of literatures revealed that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium were the most popular probiotics studied by researchers. Meijerink et al. suggested that the 28 strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the best choice for research purposes, as they have been isolated from different commercially available products, and being screened for their immunomodulatory properties in a coculture assay with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Probiotics For Symptom Prevention
Another area where probiotics are showing promise is in the prevention of anticipated symptoms. Some dogs deal with seasonal allergies where owners can predict when their dog may experience an allergy flare.
For other dogs, their breed may predispose them to issues with allergies. Golden retrievers and beagles are known for being prone to allergies.
A study conducted in beagles looked at the effect of probiotics on atopic dermatitis when given to puppies. Two litters of puppies from the same set of parents were evaluated.
Bloodwork showed that the puppies given the probiotic had a stronger immune system response than the puppies who did not receive probiotics.
At the time of allergy testing, there was not a noticeable difference in how itchy the puppies of the two different groups were.
More studies need to be done to determine how these enhanced immune responses relate to the dogs symptoms over time.
In the meantime, incorporating probiotics into your pets daily routine may help make them more comfortable when allergy season hits.