Microbiome and probiotics what does that have to do with each other?

You’ve surely heard before that the bowel is a digestive organ. At the same time, it does much more than that. That’s what this article is about.

Every day our intestines do important work for us and also for our animals. It is part of the “digestive channel” through which the food we eat is transported through our body. In this way it is broken down into its many small building blocks, which can be absorbed into the blood via the intestinal wall. Only then can the nutrients be utilized by our body and, for example, used to generate energy.

As a digestive organ, the intestine does important work for us every day. At the same time it does much more than that.

But the intestine can not only digest but much more. We take a closer look at the structure and the different functions of our intestines.

Structure and functions of the intestine

The intestine is the longest section of our digestive tract. Its task, as described above, is to break down the nutrients until they can be absorbed by the intestinal wall. But not only that: the intestine is also important for our immune system and also houses the intestinal flora (microbiota). This is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms, the composition of which apparently affects not only our intestinal health, but also our defences and even our emotions. Today we also know that the intestine has its own nervous system, which communicates with our “head brain” and sends it more signals than previously thought.

An overview of the intestinal functions:

  • Digestion of food
  • Mixing and further transport of the food mash by intestinal movements
  • Absorption of nutrients
  • Absorption of water and thickening of the food pulp
  • Formation of defence cells (intestinal immune system)
  • Defence against pathogens (intestinal barrier)
    Production of hormones and neurotransmitters (messengers)

Our intestinal flora – what is it actually?

  • Approx. 39 trillion intestinal bacteria
  • Over 1000 different bacterial species detected
  • Highest bacterial density: colon
  • Many “good” and some “bad” bacteria

Functions of the “good” intestinal germs

  • indigestible dietary fiber on the surface of the
  • Producing energy, fatty acids, gases
  • Manufacture certain vitamins
  • Degrade toxins
  • Train our immune system

That’s good to know: While the small intestine is responsible for the digestion and uptake of nutrients, the large intestine is virtually responsible for the “recycling of residues”.

Hund leidet

Feed allergies and incompatibilities

More and more people as well as dogs and cats seem to suffer from some form of allergy or intolerance.

According to current knowledge, most allergy triggers in dogs are proteins or protein compounds (glycoproteins) that are ingested with food. Food allergy is the third most common allergy in dogs after flea allergy and atopy (hereditary allergy).

A feed allergy occurs when the body rejects a feed due to immunological defence reactions and does not process it. In the case of intolerance, however, the cause is not a false reaction of the immune system, but other causes such as a lack of certain enzymes, e.g. lactose intolerance due to lactase deficiency are responsible for the fact that a food is not tolerated.

Depending on how the disease manifests itself, the skin and / or the digestive system is usually affected. The animals then often suffer from itching, reddening of the skin and pustules, or from diarrhoea, vomiting and flatulence. Some pet owners also observe that the fur of their four-legged friends simply smells bad. Allergies can have many faces.

Allergies can have many faces.


A feed allergy occurs when undigested feed proteins pass through the intestinal mucosa and thus reach the lymphatic system of the intestine. The body then recognises these as antigens and thereupon certain defence reactions take place which can lead to the symptoms mentioned.

There are numerous indications that feed allergies and intolerances can be favourably influenced by the regular consumption of probiotic supplementary feeds.

It is assumed that the active substances lie like a natural protective wall between the intestinal contents and the intestinal mucous membranes and thus prevent the transfer of the intolerable substances into the bloodstream. This creates a barrier, just like a kind of protective wall, which leads to a reduced absorption of allergens and intolerance-causing substances.

Apart from the barrier effect mentioned above, the probiotic supplements in the intestinal walls also lead to increased production of immunoglobulin A, a defensive substance that plays a role especially in mucous membrane infections. As a result, fewer inflammatory reactions take place in the intestinal mucous membranes, which provides protection against both feed allergies and feed intolerance reactions.

Probiotic feed supplements
– strengthen the intestinal walls and the intestinal mucosa
– support the immune system and reduce inflammatory reactions in the intestine

Feed allergies and intolerances can be alleviated and prevented by regular consumption of probiotic supplementary feeds.
Support your pet’s intestines with probiotics like our NutraPro®!

Probiotics for dog cat horse what is this?

Dr. Eva Sattler holds a doctorate in biochemistry.
She has been dealing with the immune system and intestinal health for years.
Since 2014 she has been strengthening NutraPet Systems in the areas of product development and quality management of probiotic feed supplements under the NutraPro® brand.