Mining the microbiome: Balance is everything

Mining the microbiome: Balance is everything

Scientists are digging deeper in their quest to understand the influence of diet and nutrition on pet gut health as the evidence grows that developing a stable and beneficial microbiome early on has long-term benefits.

There is increasing interest in exploring how the inclusion of substances such as prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes and postbiotics can impact the complex microbial community within companion animals. If that community shifts out of balance, the gut can fall into a state called dysbiosis. This unhealthy microbiome is linked to chronic inflammation, digestive problems, and other health issues.

Studies evaluating pro- pre- and post-biotics in pets are scarce, but such products could potentially benefit animals with compromised or weak immune systems, as well as ageing and stressed animals.

Panel discussion: We'll look at the interplay between the microbiome, the immune response and nutrition in pets.

  • Generic probiotics species completely dominate the segment, according to research, so does this mean there are further opportunities ahead for brand-name probiotics?
  • Given their role in promoting health, product-shelf life, and sustainability, we ask what stands in the way of broader adoption of postbiotics in the pet food industry?
  • With links between the brain and the gut coming to light, we'll explore to what extent, if any, do the bacterial contents of companion animals' intestines influence their aggression and anxiety