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The power of probiotics

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Probiotics are a hot topic right now because of their power to promote health and vitality, both in humans and pets. But what are these powerful microscopic organisms and how do they work? 

What do probiotics do?
Probiotics can be simply described as 'good bacteria' that live in the gut of all animals (including humans). These bacteria are a powerful and integral part of animals' body function, competing with 'bad' bacteria and maintaining gut health. Probiotics regulate and stimulate the immune system, aid digestion, break down toxins and allergens, regulate cholesterol uptake, produce essential vitamins, and control inflammation.

When are probiotic populations established?
Typically most animals form a stable population of probiotics by the time they are weaned. This early establishment of balanced probiotics is essential for normal immune system development, and there is evidence to show the development of allergies in animals is linked to poor probiotic balance in early development.

Symptoms of probiotic imbalance
Probiotics both stimulate and regulate your pet's immune system at the gut surface and remotely in the body. If imbalance or depletion of probiotics occurs, it can result in a breakdown in these regulatory immune mechanisms, resulting in aggressive and uncontrolled inflammatory responses as seen in Irritable or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and allergic skin conditions.

How to help your pet's probiotic balance
Food processing destroys nutrients and probiotics, so the best way to ensure puppies and kittens have correct probiotic populations is through exposure to a balanced fresh meat diet that includes components like our Raw 76 or Health Rolls. If your pet is eating predominantly processed food, you may need to a probiotics supplement to their diet like that found in our VAN Skin & Coat Formula, an all-natural vitamin and mineral supplement such as VAN Health Chews Multivitamin with Probiotics or Health Booster powder, and an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement such as VAN Omega Blend Oil.

Ensuring that puppies and kittens have correct probiotic populations (either by exposure to appropriate raw food diets, or by probiotic supplementation) may play a critical role going forward in the fight against IBD and allergic skin disease.

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