While pet humanization is not exactly a new trend, the belief that pets are full-fledged family members continues to grow. Today more than ever pet owners pay close attention to what ends up in their companion’s bowls.
Only the best
Pet food buyers demand quality, top grade products made from first class ingredients. And what’s more, they want the best supplements and additives to go with it. Nutrients, multivitamins, anti-oxidants, omegas; the list goes on. And now there are galacto-oligosaccharides. Prebiotics that offer considerable health benefits, especially for pets.
When it comes to our overall health, it’s the little things that count. Our bodies are literally packed with bacteria, both good and bad, and together they determine our physical state and well-being. For health’s sake, it is critical to maintain a positive balance. By taking probiotic supplements, such as bacteria enriched yoghurt and yeast products, live bacteria can be added to the microorganisms already dwelling in our intestines. But one can also choose to feed the beneficial bacteria directly. And that is where prebiotics come in.
Instead of adding new bacteria to the digestive system, prebiotics are designed to fuel the existing ones to thrive. Keeping your gut in prime condition is a healthy thing to do. For people and pets.
Significant health benefits for pets
Prebiotics work wonders for the gut. They contribute to a healthier and better-balanced microbiota and counter pathogenic bacteria with a natural and diverse response. By inhibiting bad bacteria to foster, and selectively stimulating healthy bacteria in the colon to grow and perform even better, prebiotic supplements present significant health benefits for pets.
For one, prebiotics offer an effective reinforcement against digestive disorders, such as diarrhoea and inflammatory bowel disease. And the result of an optimally functioning intestinal tract is noticeable right away. Adding prebiotics to a dog’s diet reduces faecal odours and promotes more solid stools, easy to collect and dispose of.
The bacteria-boosting supplement can be extracted from a number of sources. There are prebiotics made from resistant plant starch, inulins and fructooligosaccharides (FOS) derived from chicory and artichoke roots, and oligosaccharides (SOS) found in soybeans. The latest prebiotic taps from another source. Instead of working with vegetable potential, galacto-oligosaccharide (GOS) relies on dairy power to improve its host’s intestinal health.
Like all prebiotics, galacto-oligosaccharides are sugar made indigestible fibres. After ingestion through food or supplements, they pass through the stomach and the intestines intact, ending up in the colon where they are consumed by various microbial species. GOS is composed by a chain of galactose sugars of variable lengths and is considered to exert one of the most potent and beneficial effects among prebiotic fibres. Made from fibres found naturally in mammal milk, GOS is the prebiotic of choice to supplement milk replacers. Moreover, the lactose derivative also plays an important role in addressing some of the key challenges faced by today’s cats and dogs. From obesity and diabetes to cancer and kennel cough, galacto-oligosaccharides offer effective protection against a wide variety of diseases and disorders that threaten or affect the health of our favourite companion animals.
Too good for just human consumption
Galacto-oligosaccharides are all but new to the prebiotics range. GOS were first produced in Japan as food ingredients some thirty years ago. Since then their application has expanded rapidly all over the world. Made from lactose to resemble a specific carbohydrate in breast milk, GOS are widely and frequently used in infant and follow-on formula.
What is new, is that the lactose-based supplement is now available for pet food purposes. In response to pet food dietary developments and anticipating growing consumer demand, IQI has recently added GOS to its product portfolio. As a supplier of premium pet food ingredients, we are convinced that quality supplements are an enrichment to the menu. As long as GOS contributes to a better and healthier pet diet, and as long as the production process is safe, transparent and fully traceable, we are all in. Besides, the benefits of galacto-oligosaccharides are too good to keep for humans alone. Pets deserve a healthy gut and healthy life just as well.
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