Nurturing the Gut-Brain Axis: A Quick Guide to Pre- & Probiotics
In pet health, maintaining the delicate balance of the gut-brain axis is paramount for overall well-being. Probiotics, beneficial bacteria, and prebiotics, their nourishing counterparts, play key roles in supporting this vital communication network.
The Gut-Brain Axis Unveiled
The gut-brain axis, a bidirectional communication network, regulates various physiological functions in animals, emphasising the importance of balance and homeostasis for overall health.
Harnessing Probiotic Power
Probiotics, or "good bacteria," colonise your pet’s gut, boosting populations of beneficial bacteria and suppressing harmful ones. They improve digestion, absorption of nutrients, fortify the immune system and even produce helpful short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Think of them as friendly neighbors, keeping the gut's ecosystem thriving. Integrating these microorganisms into pet care routines establishes a foundation for a well-functioning gut-brain axis.
Prebiotics: Feeding the Good Bacteria
Prebiotics, non-digestible fibers, serve as food for probiotics, enhancing the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria. Think of them as a nourishing feast for your pet's probiotic. Fruits, vegetables, and specific starches like inulin and beta-glucan are natural prebiotic sources.
Research suggests gut-brain axis support through prebiotics and probiotics can:
- Reduce anxiety and stress: SCFAs (short chain fatty acids) produced by friendly gut bacteria act as neurotransmitters, influencing mood and behavior.
- Improve cognitive function: Studies link healthy gut microbes to better learning, memory, and alertness.
- Strengthen the immune system: A balanced gut microbiota can enhance overall immune response and fight off pathogens.
- Alleviate gastrointestinal issues: Probiotics can improve stool consistency, reduce diarrhoea, and promote digestive comfort.
Choosing the Right Ones
The key to success lies in ensuring your pet is receiving a probiotic/prebiotic combination that is scientifically validated and appropriate for their condition, at a dose that will be effective. Remember, not all products contain the right strains nor the correct dose to have a clinically positive effect.
At Anipal, we developed our Calm Formula - Powder Meal Topper supplement, containing 3 billion CFU per serve, based off scientific literature and clinical outcomes to ensure we are providing support for long-term and effective calming modulation of the gut-brain axis.