Probiotics are a hot topic in both humans and pets. The gastrointestinal (GI) tract in both humans and animals is responsible for overall health.
It is the largest immune organ in the body. It is also the home of trillions of microorganisms. The ratio of these microorganisms and their relationship to each other is what makes us healthy or unhealthy.
Probiotics are a supplement that both animals and humans can take to make sure that the balance as well as the presence of these microorganisms is correct. Although there is not enough conclusive research about the benefits for humans and animals, there are enough positive results to warrant taking them.
We do know more about how they work in humans than animals, but since animals often have the same results as humans, it is safe to assume that they help in the same ways. So let’s look at how they help in humans to understand the benefits of probiotics.
Mainly they help with diarrhea that is a result of taking antibiotics and they may help with traveler’s diarrhea. People with ulcerative colitis sometimes benefit from the VSL#3 blend of probiotics. Interestingly there is also evidence that probiotics may help with depression and anxiety, and last but not least, they may reduce the risk of blood infections known as sepsis.
When purchasing probiotics is it important to consider the cost, since many are expensive. Also, certain groups of people such as the very young, elderly, those whose systems are immune-compromised because of health conditions (autoimmune disease, severe burns, on chemotherapy, or on immune suppressants) may experience gas and bloating if they take probiotics too quickly.
It is important to talk to your doctor, (or veterinarian for your pet), about the amount of probiotics needed to bring the results necessary. Research indicates that people may need from one to ten million daily.