Friday, May 18, 2012

Veterinary Highlights: Prebiotics And Weight Loss?

I was just seriously struggling with picking out a topic for my Veterinary Highlights, when I wondered off and came across this article.

Could prebiotics assist with weight loss?

I am not talking about loading your dog's food with fiber just to make them feel full. This is a different concept all together.

Prebiotics are nondigestible fibers that promote beneficial bacteria in dog's intestine.

Scientists are finding that supplementing prebiotics causes beneficial change of intestinal bacteria, which results in hormonal changes that decrease appetite, decrease intestinal fat cells and decrease body weight in humans and rats.

How cool is that?

Whether or not this would work the same way for dogs is just a speculation at this point. Studies have shown that increase of dietary fiber decreases intestinal absorption of some minerals and essential fatty acids.

Like everything else, the use of prebiotics is a question of the right balance.

The studies in humans and rats showed that the weight loss effect was greatest with highest concentrations of fiber. On the other hand, my question would be, how much can the intestinal bacteria really need to flourish? The hormonal changes don't come from the fiber itself, but from the bacteria. So I'm thinking it shouldn't have to take THAT much fiber to achieve optimal state of the intestinal bacteria.

I am curious what they find out.

Source article: Prebiotics and Weight Loss in Pets

Related articles:
Unsung Heroes: Probiotics

2 comments

  1. That's interesting! LOL, both dogs are (finally) in great shape, but I could sure apply this to myself!

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    1. Hey, why not, right? Doesn't seem it could do a lot of harm. I would, though, also be careful with doing too much; in spite of the apparent dose dependency, I really don't feel that the gut bacteria would need such huge amounts to flourish.

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