Probiotics are health-promoting "friendly" bacteria available in the form of oral capsules and are used to treat allergies and skin problems. 'Probiotic' means 'for life' and beneficial intestinal bacteria present in probiotics help to cure skin problems by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion, boosting immune function, producing nutrients, and increasing resistance to infection.
Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract. If normal bacteria are depleted or the balance of good and harmful bacteria is disturbed by diet, infection, antibiotic use, lifestyle changes, or stress, harmful “unfriendly” bacteria tend to proliferate and lead to gastrointestinal problems. Probiotics are important in recolonizing the intestine during and after antibiotic use and they prevent up to 50% of infections occurring after antibiotic use.
Probiotics promote healthy digestion by secreting enzymes. Acidophilus and bifidobacteria can manufacture B vitamins, including niacin, folic acid, biotin, and vitamin B6. L. rhamnosus and L. plantarum are involved in the production of several nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids, and the amino acids, arginine, cysteine, and glutamine.
Probiotics that are suitable for pets are available in powder, chewable treats, and capsules.