This is a very basic article I have written about the difference between probiotics and antibiotics, and you'll find virtually the same information wherever you look online. I have attempted to make it slightly different, although you'll find the same basic information is available anywhere probiotics are discussed.
What are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics, latin for against or away from life, are usually injected liquid or ingested pills prescribed by a doctor to kill off certain strains of bacteria. There are gram negative and gram positive bacteria, and antibiotics generally work on one or the other, while a few antibiotics are known as gram resistant, and for them, we have broad spectrum antibiotics. Antibiotics work on the full immune system, meaning they trick the immune system into producing antibodies to combat whatever foreign bacteria is present. Probiotics, on the other hand, are a blend of certain live bacteria (think acidophilus in milk or lactobaccilus in yogurt) which are necessary in digestion and breaking down the food into usable nutients in the gut. When you utilize any type of antibiotic, it often doesn't know which bacteria is it being administered to rid the body from, so the body produces antibodies to all bacteria in the digestive systems. To the body, bacteria are bacteria, and the antibiotic can't tell the difference between them. So hence, when you utilize an antibiotic, it's important to also utilize a probiotic that will replace those now removed bacteria which are so necessary for digestion.
The gut's flora and fauna do more than just break down food into nutrients, protein, fiber, vitamins, fat and waste, but help the body absorb each of these ingredients, with the help of the stomach acid and bile produced by the pancreas.
According to Dr Ohhira, some of the many benefits of probiotics include:
Improves digestive functions
Improves liver function
Improves circulatory function
Improves bowel function
Improves joint and muscle function
Improves resistance to allergies
Improves sleep functions
Improves vitamin synthesis
Increases lactose tolerance
Increases nutritional absorption
Decreases incidents of digestive ailments
Decreases incidents of stomach ailments
Decreases incidents of bloating/heartburn
Decreases incidents of constipation/diarrhea
Decreases presence of yeast infection
Decreases incidents of certain infections
Decreases incidents of oral cavity infection
Let's face it, some animals don't like yogurt, some birds are intolerant of dairy products so yogurt may actually harm more than help. Some of the probiotics available to you through pet stores, feed stores, online, and your vet, are as follows:
Dr. Ohhira's 12-Plus Probiotic Formula - excellent, no dairy
Opti-Zyme Pro (Bromelain)
Avipro (VetArk Health)
Premier Pet Products Probiotics
NutriLak Plus (bio-holistic)
Some online places to locate probiotics are:
Revival Animal Health Pet Supplies
ACES - Animal Care Equipment and Supplies
Dr Foster & Smith
Crohn's.net for Crohn's Management
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