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L. acidophilus is the most prevalent probiotic (good bacteria) found in the intestine of the dog and cat. The good bacteria are present in order to protect against bad bacteria that cause disease. For example: When L. acidophilus breaks down food in the intestine, several substances are formed such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that create an unfriendly environment for the bad bacteria. Antibiotics are known for their ability to kill bacteria however, they don't discriminate between the "friendly" and "unfriendly" organisms. Many things (disease and stress) can create an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in the intestines. Restoring balance can be accomplished by providing probiotics (the good bacteria). Lactobacillus Functions: • Aids in digestion and suppressing disease-causing bacteria • Inhibits the adhesion of pathogens to the digestive tract mucosal wall • Treating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease • Improves intestinal motility and strengthens mucosal barrier functions • Improves lactose tolerance • Enhances the immune system Lactobacillus casei Lactobacillus casei is a bacterium (probiotic) that offers protection against illnesses and disease by not permitting harmful bacteria to multiply and cause infections. L. casei improves an animal’s ability to produce Lactobacillus acidophilus the primary probiotic found in the canine and feline intestine. Functions of L. casei: • Digestion and absorption of food • Diarrhea and constipation control • Reduce gut inflammation • Reduce lactose intolerance • Improved immune function Lactobacillus plantarum The ability of L. plantarum to produce antimicrobial substances that have shown significant effect on Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria is beneficial to maintaining normal gut health. L. plantarum also helps to maintain intestinal permeability. It is able to suppress the growth of gas producing bacteria in the intestines and may have some benefit in animals suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Lactobacillus reuteri As part of the Lactobacillus family, L. reuteri has many of the same broad ranging probiotic health benefits. In dogs, researchers have found that L. reuteri may be the most resistant probiotic and may especially be helpful in controlling canine intestinal infections.