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Healthy GOO Probiotics

Importance of Probiotics

Did you know that the human body contains over 100 trillion cells, but only 1/10th of these 100 trillion cells actually belong to you! The other 90 trillion cells are actually NOT a part of us at all but rather, they are independent microorganisms that are just along on our ride and they live in our gut! This ratio of self cells vs hitch hiker cells also applies to our dogs.

You might also find it interesting that the gut, stomach, small and large intestine is the largest immunological organ in the body containing 70% of all IgA producing immunological cells, which play a critical role in mucosal immunity. In more ways than most people know, intestinal function (i.e. gut) determines health and performance in both man and animal.


Humans, like all warm-blooded animals, live in G.I. Tract / gut harmony with this large, varied population of microorganisms. Research suggests that the relationship between gut flora in humans and mammals is not merely commensal (a non-harmful coexistence), but rather a symbiotic (Helpful) relationship.

This symbiotic relationship works together in harmony to provide humans and our pets with enhanced resistance to infectious diseases, through gastro-mucosal immunological control. Though people and animals can survive without gut flora, these live microorganisms perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training the immune system, preventing growth of harmful pathogenic bacteria, regulating the development of the gut, producing vitamins for the host and producing hormones to direct the host to store fats and facilitating efficient food and nutrient absorption.

Under normal healthy conditions, this level of microorganism immunity is balanced and satisfactory but with stress, overuse of antibiotics and abnormal dietary changes, even the normal marching of time, the natural healthy balance of microorganisms can be disturbed, reduced or possibly eliminated and vulnerability to infection and autoimmune illness often occurs. It is often said that a healthy, well balanced immune system including the gut is therefore the foundation of health.

When all is said and done, doesn’t it make healthy sense for you and your canine to have plenty of healthy bugs residing in your gut?

But, if the good gut bacteria are being constantly eroded, under attack, being weakened by what life throws at it every day, what can be done to replenish and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria?

Simply said, the answer is probiotics. Probiotics are good source of live bacteria which confer a health benefit to the host and are essential for many vital body functions, including healthy digestion. The word "probiotic" means "for life". As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), probiotics are live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Today more than ever, probiotics are increasingly being used and evaluated in the management of digestive, gut balance and health.

Will any BUG do?

Not all probiotics are alike. Probiotics are also strain specific, and even different strains of the same species may differ in their health performance. Since Probiotics are actually live bacteria, they have to be hearty enough to survive long enough, or in sufficient numbers to even be health beneficial once they enter the gut. Unfortunately, traditional probiotics have inherent weaknesses which dilute and even negate their ability to confer health benefits.

These weaknesses include:
  • Probiotic bacteria cells do not survive the heat and pressure required for the inclusion in a product.
  • Probiotic bacteria cells actually begin to die quickly on the shelf.
  • Once ingested, few probiotic bacteria cells actually survive stomach acids to populate the gut.
  • If they survive to this point, probiotic bacteria cells are very sensitive to bile and various enzymes in the gut.

In addition to this probiotic bacteria degradation dilemma, there are two more challenges that are faced to bring beneficial probiotic bacteria health benefits to the host.
  1. Even when these probiotic strains do make it to the gut and survive, there have to be enough of them to actually work their magic. Unfortunately, far too often, the amounts that do survive are not of sufficient quantity to do this.
  2. Mother nature also has her say in the matter. Namely, common everyday life issues in your pet's life can disrupt and reduce this natural, good bacteria balance quite easily. Poor diet, stress, immune system weakness and more can contribute to this fact.
So, as you can see, even if you do choose the correct beneficial probiotic strain, which does support a healthy gut immune response, this is not enough. Your chosen probiotic strain has to be able to survive! It has to survive the rigorous journey from point of manufacturing, to inclusion in a product, to shelf life, through the stomach and into the gut in adequate numbers to be health beneficial.

But while all of the above requirements are important, what matters most is whether or not the chosen probiotic delivers the positive gut immune response benefits in your dog.

As you can see, to even begin to go to work, any probiotic has to be tough enough to survive and reach its journey’s end! Unfortunately, not all probiotics are this tough. You see, many probiotics begin to lose their probiotic potency immediately after manufacturing, followed by ongoing degradation until reaching the intestines. It is because of this degradation that it is important that any probiotic state on their label the number of live bacteria (i.e. Colony Forming Units (CFU’s)) that exist at the time of ingestion.

To further understand the CFU count of a probiotic, it is important to mention that because of the fragile nature of most probiotics, many Colony Forming Units (CFU’s) are lost to the harsh environment of the stomach. This is why you see many probiotics touting billions of CFU’s. This is because they need that many to start with, to survive the journey thru your pet's stomach, such that enough survive the stomach to begin activating in the intestines and digestive tract where they can grow creating the maximum benefit to the animal.

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