Benefits Of Probiotics For Cats
Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a Los Angeles area veterinarian and certified veterinary journalist, is definitely an advocate for feline probiotics. Im a big fan of probiotics as a means of hopefully helping to maintain normal gut health, not only so there are less clinical signs of digestive upset like decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or stool changes but also in terms of helping to promote immune system health as well, he says.
Mahaney adds that immunity for cats is closely linked to the health of the digestive tract and when the digestive tract is thrown off track, a cats immunity may suffer. Disorders that can cause such digestive system upset include ailments like inflammatory bowel disease , infections, or a cat simply ingesting something she shouldnt.
That could certainly be cats that are grooming themselves excessively and ingesting too much hair or ingesting things from the environment, says Mahaney. So for cats, probiotics can help with a variety of conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease. The veterinarian adds that IBD is a common condition that many cats develop throughout their lifetime, especially during their adult and senior years.
Types Of Cat Probiotics
Cat probiotics come in a variety of formspowders, pills, and even infused inside of treats. In order to get the largest benefit out of a probiotic supplement, Mahaney recommends opting for the highest CFU that you can find. Diversity is also important. We want to make sure that we have a diverse array of probioticsnot just one type of bacteria, Mahaney adds.
The strains that cats tend to do best with are those of the Bifidobacterium and Enterococcus families. Bifidobacterium tends to live in the small intestine, whereas Enterococcus generally resides in the colon . So each strain could have a different function when it comes to promoting health. Bifidobacterium is more involved with digestion and the Enterococcus aids with the formation of normal feces and helping to maintain colonic health. Mahaney says you really cant go wrong with purchasing a product with additional bacteria strains but stresses that its important to opt for a supplement that contains the two bacteria mentioned above.
Make sure there are at least two different types in there because they do jobs in different locations, he notes. But ideally there could be five types of Enterococcus or five different types of Bifidobacterium in there, Mahaney adds.
Probiotics Work For Constipation
Constipation is another cause of bloating, and probiotics can help to reduce constipation. Probiotics are highly effective in reducing the time of gut transition and increasing stool frequency. Researchers found the probiotic is more popular to help all digestive issues with different strains of bacterias that can relieve constipation problems. People take supplements of probiotics because it is the best defense against constipation. Probiotics stabilize bacterial growth in your gut by increasing live bacteria and keeps the gut balanced and healthy.
Are There Any Risks Related To Probiotics
Probiotics are generally considered safe. However, there are some risks linked to the supplements. These risks are increased if you have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, have recently had surgery or have other serious medical conditions.
Unlikely, but possible, risks can include:
- Developing an infection.
- Developing a resistance to antibiotics.
- Developing harmful byproducts from the probiotic supplement.
What Else Can Help With Gas
Probiotics arent always the answer to digestive problems or excessive gas, but they are a more natural and less harsh alternative to trying to alleviate symptoms or reduce the condition. Sometimes though, probiotics wont make symptoms any better for a person and they may have to try other paths to fix their gas.
Some medications are designed to help reduce or eliminate gas. Simethicone is one of these. Another thing that may help is Beano, which can help break down and digest vegetables more easily, so they cause less gas.
Which Probiotics Are Best For Bloating And Gas
Probiotic dietary supplements restore balance to the gut. By having a sufficient amount of good bacteria in our colons and digestive tracts, we reduce negative side effects like gas and bloating. Its even been shown that probiotics can increase gut motility, speeding up digestion, so things dont get backed up.
If you suffer from bloating and gas, it is most important to figure out what the cause is so that you can work against this. For example, if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to dairy and this causes bloating and gas, then it is a good idea to avoid dairy-rich foods.
That said, taking a probiotic supplement with key beneficial bacteria that restore and maintain a healthy gut microbiome can be very helpful in reducing bloating and gas.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the two probiotic strains that scientists have demonstrated to be most helpful during trials on patients with IBS, SIBO, or Functional Abdominal Bloating and Distention .
What Do Probiotics Do
Another treatment option for gas and bloating is taking probiotics, which are a combination of live beneficial bacteria and yeasts that naturally live in your body and help make up your microbiome.5 This is a diverse group of organisms called microbes that work to keep your body healthy. Microbes are a combination of bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa.5 The primary job of probiotics within your body is to maintain a healthy balance and keep bad bacteriathe kind that can make you sickin check.
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What Are Gas And Bloating And What Causes Them
Gas is a normal part of the digestive process. Humans normally rid themselves of excess gas either by burping or passing gas. Gas pain may occur if gas is unable to move through your digestive system and becomes trapped in one place.1
Bloating refers to an uncomfortable sense of fullness in the upper abdomen that can be influenced by gas and may be accompanied by a visible increase in the size if your abdomen, which is known as distention.1,2
Gas buildup that leads to pain and bloating can be attributed to a few factors. Stomach gas is caused by swallowing air while eating or drinking. However, gas can also form in your large intestine when certain carbohydratesfiber and certain starches and sugarsare fermented by bacteria after they arent fully digested in your small intestine.1
Many people may experience abdominal cramps, bloating, and flatulence when they eat milk, certain cheeses or ice cream because they lack the enzyme that is necessary for the proper digestion of milk sugars found in dairy products.2
Belly bloat and distention may also be attributed to bacterial overgrowth, which occurs when there is an excess amount of normal bacteria in the small intestine. This may result in an overproduction of intestinal gas, which may lead to uncomfortable bloating and abdominal distention.2
How To Give Probiotics To Your Cat
While some veterinarians prescribe probiotics once a pet has an existing issue, like diarrhea, Mahaney recommends that pet parents make probiotic supplements a daily part of a cats health routine. I feel that giving a daily probiotic supplement is a safe way to hopefully help deter the development of digestive problems, he explains. If the cat is willing to take it, its a pretty simple thing to do.
Antibiotics are notorious for wiping out healthy gut flora. In order to combat this, Frey recommends giving a cat a daily dose of probiotics when a cat has been on antibiotics in order to help repopulate the digestive tract. To be proactive, pet parents can also give their cats probiotics at the same time that they start a dose of antibiotics. The probiotics are often extended for several weeks beyond stopping the antibiotic, as it takes a long time to make those good bacteria stick, says Frey.
In order to administer a dosage, its best to follow the instructions on the package. If a cat will not swallow a capsule, owners can hide it inside of a treat or pick a product that can be sprinkled on the cats food. Before giving your cat probiotics or other supplements, make sure to consult your veterinarian to ensure the proper dosage and type for your cat.
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Probiotics For Bloating Gas And Distention
When it comes to bloating, probiotics can help improve the balance of bacteria in your gut , which often corrects the underlying cause of the bloating.
Research supports this hypothesis. According to a meta-analysis published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, Probiotics were associated with less abdominal pain compared to placebo . A randomized, controlled trial in the study showed probiotics significantly reduced abdominal pain and distention in IBS patients [39
How Do Probiotics Work With Ibs
A significant amount of recent research has investigated how probiotics might be used to treat and manage IBS.
IBS symptoms have been linked to certain changes in the gut flora. For example, people with IBS have lower amounts of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in their guts, and higher levels of harmful Streptococcus, E. coli and Clostridium (
- Reducing gas production by balancing the gut flora
- Reducing the guts sensitivity to gas buildup
However, not all probiotics are alike. In fact, the term probiotic covers many different strains and types of bacteria and yeasts. Their health effects vary depending on the type.
Summary Gut flora imbalances may contribute to the symptoms of IBS. Probiotics help restore balance in a number of ways, including by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, reducing inflammation and slowing down the digestive system.
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How To Relieve Bloating And Gas Can Live Cultures Help
Relieving bloating and gas with live cultures
Most of us have experienced the feeling of bloating and gas, and at times, it can be very uncomfortable having a significant impact on your overall happiness. We are here to tell you that bloating and gas can be easily averted, so if youre looking at how to reduce bloating, this article is perfect for you. This post intends to uncover bloating relief, how to reduce gas and how live cultures can help relieve these problems within your gut.
What is bloating?
Bloating is the feeling of your stomach or abdomen being full, tight or swollen. It is usually accompanied by excessive gas, frequent burping or belching, rumbling and gurgling from the abdomen, and in some cases, pain. Bloating can also be visible, making the stomach look larger than usual.
Why is bloating uncomfortable?
Stomach bloating and gas can be discomforting and embarrassing when it comes at the wrong time. It can affect both your work and private life and is an extremely common thing, with around 16-30% of people reporting that they suffer from bloating on a regular basis.
What causes bloating?
Bloating is caused by the gastrointestinal tract being filled with gas, and it can be a sign of unbalanced gut microbiome. The gastrointestinal tract contains over 500 species of bacteria, all working in unison to promote positive gut health and general well-being. When the balance is disturbed, this causes problems.
How to reduce bloating?
What causes bloating and gas?
What Are The Most Common Types Of Probiotic Bacteria
Though there are many types of bacteria that can be considered probiotics, there are two specific types of bacteria that are common probiotics found in stores. These include:
Probiotics are also made up of good yeast. The most common type of yeast found in probiotics is:
- Saccharomyces boulardii.
Cat Probiotics Vs Dog Probiotics: Whats The Difference
Cats and dogs have very different digestive systems. For instance, a cats small intestine is shorter than that of a canines, which results in a quicker transit time for digesting food. The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition also notes that a cat has a much smaller cecum than a dogs and the gastric mucosa differs between the two species.
Mahaney notes that cats are carnivorous in nature, whereas dogs are omnivores. Cats are meant to survive off of protein and fat, where dogs are meant to eat more of a variety including meat and protein and vegetables and fruits, he explains. Digestion starts in the mouth and if you look at the teeth of dogs and cats, the dentition of the dog includes molars meant for chopping up plant material, whereas cats lack these types of teeth. These differences in anatomy, physiology and diet are why some veterinarians believe that cats may benefit from probiotics even more than dogs.
Are There Any Storage Instructions For Probiotics
Several probiotic strains are very fragile and need to be protected from heat, oxygen, light and humidity. The probiotics might start to break down or die if they are exposed to these elements. Because of this, you may need to refrigerate your probiotics or store it in a particular place. Refrigerating certain probiotic strains ensures that theyre still viable when you go to use them and will still provide the full benefit of the probiotic. Always read the labels on any probiotic product you purchase to make sure you store it correctly and use it within the expiration date.
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How Do We Get Prebiotics
Before recent years, prebiotics werent something you could ingest on their own. We got them solely through the food we eat. Foods high in prebiotics include onions, jicama, and bananas, to name a few. Youve likely eaten lots of foods with them and never even noticed. Once people became more aware of the importance of prebiotics, we began to add them to processed foods to increase their nutrient value prebiotics are typically labeled as inulin in packaged goods. In recent years the food, beverage, and supplement markets have been flooded with powders, capsules, bars, chips, drinks, and more touting the benefits of prebiotic fiber.
How Probiotics Reduce Bloating
Probiotics may help reduce bloating and gas, especially when you have stomach problems. But, did you know probiotics can cause bloating as a side effect?
If youre new to taking probiotics, especially some of the more common supplements found in the stores, you may experience some bloating and constipation right at first. The probiotics can make you bloated simply because you arent used to the healthy effects!
Some of those healthy effects include better digestion, better nutrient absorption, better utilization of healthy fibers, and generally an overall healthy diet.
So, what happened? Why is this happening to us? Before the advent of processed food, many people preserved the food harvest by fermentation. Probiotic bacteria cause fermentation . This introduced lots of probiotics every day with every meal.
Today, fermented foods get snubbed, and people have to purchase supplements or specially fermented foods to get their probiotics.
When we go back to getting healthy probiotics, not only is a huge adjustment for our way of thinking, its a huge adjustment for our digestive system and it takes a little time to get used to it. For most people, the bloating and gas only lasts a couple of days to two weeks. Then, it should go away.
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Can Probiotics Ever *cause* Bloat And Digestion
Although the right probiotic can help, sometimes starting a new probiotic or taking one that isn’t a good “fit” can actually cause bloating and flatulence. So, pay careful attention to labels and look for particular strains, like those already discussed.
Because we each have a distinctive microbiota “profile” as unique as a fingerprint, it can take some time to find a probiotic that works well with your personal microbiome. You can also support your gut microbiome by eating fermented foods that are rich in probiotics. However, Rountree cautions, “They’re not particularly potent,” so if you are looking to target a specific issue, like digestive discomfort, you may want to add in a probiotic supplement as well.
Want to go one step farther? You can eat prebiotic foods like asparagus and onions or take a prebiotic supplement in addition to probiotics. Prebiotics are what our microbiota feed on, so eating prebiotic-rich foods or taking a prebiotic supplement can help them survive and thrive.
If your condition is chronic, then you should also see your health care provider to rule out any other causes that might require further treatment.
Can I Get Probiotics From Food
You can absolutely increase beneficial microbes in your body from the foods you eat. Certain foods have probiotics in them and can benefit the health of your microbiome.
These foods can be introduced into your diet at any point of the day. You may even be regularly eating them now and not realize that they contain probiotics. You will want to check the food label for live and active cultures. A few suggestions for just some of the probiotic-rich foods you can add to your diet and some times to try them include:
For breakfast, try:
Probiotic supplements may be combined with a prebiotic. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates that feed the microorganisms in your gut. Basically, prebiotics are the food source for the good bacteria. They help feed the good bacteria and keep it healthy. Prebiotics include inulin, pectin and resistant starches.
When you have a supplement that combines a probiotic and prebiotic, its called a synbiotic.
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Can I Use Probiotics To Help With Medical Conditions
There is currently a large amount of research happening around the idea of what probiotics can do for your body. Even though there are a lot of possibly positive outcomes, researchers are still working to find definitive answers about how probiotics can help with various conditions.
However, there are some medical conditions where probiotics may help. This can vary between people meaning that what works for one person may not work for another. These can also vary based on the certain probiotic that is taken.
Some of the conditions that might be helped by increasing the amount of probiotics in your body include:
- Upper respiratory infections .