Volume 3 Issue 1

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Abby's Magazine - January/ February 2015 | Page 17 Antibiotics (both medicinal and in our food supply) are the #1 cause of harmful pathogens taking over the gastrointestinal tract, a condition called dysbiosis. Signs of dysbiosis include diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, autoimmune disorders, cancer, candida or yeast overgrowth, lethargy, bad breath, gas, anxiety, allergies, asthma, and arthritis to name a few. Two methods for improving beneficial bacterial strains in the gut: 1. Probiotic supplements for pets. If given with food they help with digestion, if given on an empty stomach with water they help populate the gut. Look for products that have high colony forming units (CFU's). e most common beneficial bacteria are L. acidophilus and Bifidobacteria bifidum. 2. Supplementing the diet with cultured and fermented foods. e ancestors of our domesticated pets naturally obtained their probiotics by eating the intestines of the animal they killed. Fermentation imitates the digestion of plant foods in the GI tracts of the small prey animals dogs and cats ate in the wild. Fermented vegetables are packed with probiotics and beneficial nutrients. Fermented vegetables not only provide a wider variety of beneficial bacteria than probiotic supplements, they also provide far more of them. About the highest level of colony-forming units found in human probiotic supplements is 10 billion. But fermented veggies produced by probiotic starter cultures can produce 10 trillion colony- forming units of bacteria. at means one human serving size of fermented veggies provides the same benefit as an entire bottle of high-potency probiotics. Fermented vegetables are also potent chelators and detoxifiers, so they help rid the body of a wide variety of toxins, including heavy metals. e fermentation process makes the nutrients inside the food more bioavailable as well. It produces vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin K2, and enzymes (which all support metabolic activity), choline (which balances and nourishes the blood), and acetylcholine. In addition, the lactic acid produced by fermentation is a chemical repressor that fights cancer cells without harming healthy cells. To help your pet develop good digestion, begin with a species appropriate diet. An ideal diet has 95% grass fed or free-range raw meat (includes organ meat, intestines and ground bone) and 5% organic fruits and vegetables. A source of beneficial gut bacteria is critical and, in some cases, additional enzymes to aid in digestion of the food are required. I prefer diets that have undergone high-pressure pasteurization (HPP). HPP uses a water bath at 40 degrees under high pressure to remove pathogenic bacteria while keeping the food raw and the natural enzymes in the food remain active. When introducing fermented vegetables, begin with a half- teaspoon mixed in with a small portion of their diet when they are hungry. If they eat it, try increasing the amount a little each day to the goal of 1 to 3 teaspoons a day for every 20 pounds of body weight. Slowly increase the volume of fermented foods as your pet's digestive system adapts. e liquid produced by the fermentation process is also a rich source of lactic acid and other nutrients. Try adding it in small amounts to your pet's food as well. Fermented foods can be purchased - but they are very easy to make at home. Contact me for information on classes on fermenting and culturing foods for you and your pet! Dr. Marlene Siegel Pasco Veterinary Medical Center 813-973-2929

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