Happy Gut, Healthy Animal – Probiotics For A Better Microbiome

Animal husbandry has evolved since the dawn of human civilization. Rising demand for products and byproducts from animal husbandry is owed to the exponential increase in the global population. In order to meet these demands, animal husbandry professional have resorted to various practices to increase the yield. Just like us, animal health is governed not only by the feed that is provided to them, but also internally, by the millions of tiny microscopic beings residing within their gut.

The large intestine of animals contain an entire universe of microorganisms. Metaphorically speaking, this ‘universe’ contains ‘galaxies’ of highly diverse gut bacteria that are metabolically unique. Animal nutrition is incomplete without these bacteria since the animal body is incapable of absorbing essential vitamins and minerals by themselves. For example, gut bacteria metabolise vitamin B and K, which cannot be absorbed by animal cells otherwise. Individual microbes such as sulphate-reducing bacteria, Bifidobacteria and Clostridia, respond selectively to specific dietary components in a way that may be important to health.

Gut microflora also forms a line of defense against the onslaught of disease causing pathogens. High numbers of healthy gut bacteria do not allow pathogens to colonize in the intestine thus preventing disease. For example, Lactobacilli sp. work in synergy with with the body’s immunity to fight the colonisation of pathogenic organisms like Salmonella sp.

Also Read – Raising Healthy Chickens, The Probiotic Way

The usage of steroids and antibiotics in animal feed has had devastating effect on livestock in terms of immunity and overall health. While selfishly using these drugs, humans have inadvertently been affected by the same. Continuous consumption of meat and milk, with steroid and antibiotic traces can cause dire consequences to us. Some problems that have been diagnosed in correlation to steroid, hormone and antibiotic through meat and dairy are obesity, increased risk of cancer and early puberty in children.

Antibiotics are administered in livestock with the aim being a preventive measure to diseases. However, all products from such animals inadvertently have antibiotic traces in them, which enter the human food chain. The functions that antibiotics carry out could easily be carried out by including safe probiotics in the animal feed. This will not only improve their digestion, but also increase the overall immunity of the livestock. When the health of the livestock improves naturally, the need to dose them with unnecessary hormones and antibiotics will be eliminated.