The Test Results
Your Results Are Presented in An Easy To Understand Report
Your pet's biome is a community of micro-organisms, consisting of a mixture of the good (host friendly), the bad (linked to disease, and the not so bad (don't do any harm but don't contribute to good nutrition). This community is influenced by many factors including the breed of your dog, his age and the food he eats. Although a high percentage of bacteria contribute towards your pet's health, some are pathogenic and if there is an overgrowth of these bad bacteria, they can have harmful effects.
It is important to maintain the right balance between the beneficial and pathogenic bacteria. The balance can alter through stress, the use of medications and with a change in diet. Some imbalances may show as gastrointestinal discomfort and other imbalance show as allergies, diarrhea or poor gastrointestinal health.
Bacteria have jobs to do and contributions to make, some provide energy, vitamins and help to make nutrients, such as carbohydrates, more available. Other microbes interact with the immune, endocrine, nervous system and brain.
Who's In There?
The first part of the report looks at the top groups of bacteria at genus level. Bacteria are divided into groups to make them easier to understand and identify, (see diagram below). Part One of this report identifies the major players and highlights the nutritional contributions and benefits made by them. Deficiencies are also identified and advice is given on how to feed the good gut bacteria to improve health and also how to reduce those bacteria that don't make a contribution to the health of the host and are in fact linked to poor health.
You will see in Part One, how important certain bacteria are to your pets health. You will also see how by making some small changes to the diet, beneficial bacteria can be encouraged to increase in number, providing even more benefits. Some of the dietary changes mentioned in Part One are made by adding prebiotic ingredients such as inulin. The definition of a prebiotic is ''a nondigestible food ingredient that beneﬁcially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon and thus improves host health.'' Inulin is only one example of how important plant chemicals can be to the biome, another group you will hear mentioned is plant polyphenols. Probiotics are also mentioned these are live bacteria, rather than a food for the bacteria. Other recommended dietary changes will relate to imbalances between the groups of bacteria that feed or digest carbohydrates, fats and protein. Making small changes in the amount or quality of these major nutrients will significantly improve the health of the gut and prevent any future opportunity for inflammation and colitis.
What are they doing?
Part Two refers to the bacteria identified across all of the taxonomic groups as shown in the diagram. This section explains how and why the bacteria contribute to the health and well being. For example, some bacteria help rebuild the gut wall, some trigger an immune response and some talk to the brain about what and how to act, eat and sleep. Other bacteria 'take over' and form biofilms, taking nutrients away from the host and reducing the pH of the hind gut preventing fermentation and causing discomfort. Who are they doing it with? Part Two also looks at the relationships and the conversations between the bacteria, some relationships contribute to health, especially the health of the immune system and some contribute to ill health, increasing the opportunity for inflammation and dysbiosis.