On 02/10/09 Wysong surprised us with disturbing news: “WYSONG UNDER ATTACK - NESTLE/PURINA VS THE NATURAL PET FOOD INDUSTRY
Nestec S.A. (better known as Nestle), parent company of Purina, a pet food manufacturer based in St. Louis, Missouri, and Wysong Corporation, a health education and nutritional development company in Midland, Michigan, have filed suits against one another in the Eastern District Federal Court in Missouri. The suits are related to a technology invented by Dr. Wysong in the early 1980’s to enrobe pet and human foods with probiotics – health giving organisms such as found in yogurt.” I reported on the news in “David vs. Goliath in 2009 - Let the battle commence: Nestle/Purina vs. the Natural pet food industry (Featuring: Wysong as "David")”. Since then, in the actual case very little known to the public has come to light. I am sure that behind the scenes both sides are feverishly working on getting ready for show down. Fact is that Wysong has received a lot of support so it seems on its website. We as a business support the cause as well with a special ongoing promo, since we very strongly believe Wysong, a company providing some of the best nutritional pet products available on the market today, should come out as the winner and it is in my opinion ridiculous that the suit was filed in the first place. But, what are these guys actually arguing about? We have learned that it is about who has the right to use probiotics in their products, whom’s idea it was in the first place and who should be paying whom any or all licensing fees to use the technology employed to utilize these probiotics. Since I am more than usually involved in general discussions with my customers about all this, one question typically comes up? What are “probiotics” to begin with? Well, I figured let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:
For those unfamiliar with probiotics and their importance to health, here are extracts from Dr. Wysong’s writings that will explain why Wysong has incorporated them in its human and animal foods for almost 30 years. Some may be repetitive, but we offer this to show the extent to which Wysong has been advocating this important food element:
● When an animal eats its prey, it will naturally not only consume the meat, but also the viscera (internal organs). Within that viscera of prey are billions of organisms that populate the digestive tract.
● While some microorganisms are villains, others, termed probiotics, can and do play a very beneficial role in maintaining health. Such probiotic microorganisms mainly consist of lactobacilli, enterococci, lactococci, bifidobacteria and others.
● Probiotic bacteria implant on the mucus-coated walls of the intestine and, through competitive exclusion, prevent colonization of pathogenic or “unfriendly” microbes.
● Certain species of probiotic bacteria are capable of rapid multiplication, competitive inhibition of disease producing microorganisms, lowering of the intestinal pH by the production of lactic acid, and production of bacteriocins (natural antibiotics). The probiotic hypothesis suggests that if sufficient numbers of these bacteria are introduced into the intestinal tract at a time when the balance has swung in favor of pathogens (such as at birth, during periods of stress or disease, or following antibiotic therapy), then disease can be minimized or overcome. Further, lactic acid bacteria have many other mechanisms by which they are able to prevent the growth of potential anaerobic pathogenic bacteria.
● Probiotic Mechanisms of Action That Inhibit Pathogens in the Gut:
1. Produce lactic acid and some fatty acids to help decrease intestinal pH.
2. Form hydrogen peroxide, a bactericide, and antibiotics (bacteriocins) such as acidophylin, acidolin, lactallin, and nisin.
3. Decrease the production of toxic amines and ammonia.
4. Displace harmful pathogens through competitive antagonism by colonization and adhesion to intestinal cells.
5. Initiate non-specific immunostimulation.
6. Produce digestive enzymes and B-vitamins, which aid in digestion and provide necessary nutrition.
7. Produce antienterotoxins. lactalin, anti-enterotoxins, and antienterotoxins.
● In addition to the inhibition of pathogens, probiotics are believed to exert a variety of subtle effects that can enhance overall health and disease resistance. In exchange for the nutrients and comfortable environment provided by the host (symbiosis), probiotics biosynthesize vitamins, essential amino acids, fatty acids, numerous enzymes and unidentified growth factors. Some probiotics also have the capability of inactivating carcinogenic intestinal beta-glucouronidase and nitroreductase. Probiotics also encourage appetite and facilitate the thorough breakdown and absorption of food substances.
● Prebiotics are food elements that serve as a preferential food for probiotic organisms enhancing their growth, proliferation, and competitive exclusion of pathogens.
● The functions of probiotics and prebiotics are just beginning to be revealed. Fermentive probiotic action produce lactic, acetic, and propionic acids, vitamins (such as folic acid and B12), antibiotics, proteases, peptones, and unknown growth factors.
● Probiotics (pro-life), as opposed to antibiotics (anti-life), can enhance the immune system, inhibit pathogens, decrease disease recovery time, and create an overall improvement in health.
Probiotics represent a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical methods, which introduce toxic chemicals foreign to biological experience. Probiotic usage is a rational, preventive approach to health care without contraindication.
● Probiotic Nutritional and Health Enhancement Occurs Through:
1. The synthesis of certain amino acids, which are directly assimilated (e.g. lysine from specific strains of L. plantarum).
2. Increasing leukocyte and antibody response to disease challenge.
3. A protein-sparing effect. The Lactobacilli primarily use carbohydrates as a growth medium, while the pathogens use primarily protein. By decreasing the pathogenic population, more protein is made available for assimilation.
4. Decreasing intestinal pH increases gastrointestinal tone and motility.
5. Reducing the number of putrefactive bacteria, which prevents bad breath, gas and bloating.
6. Alleviating antibiotic-induced diarrhea, caused by the indiscriminate killing off of both “good” and “bad” bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Lactobacillus can be taken both during and after antibiotic treatment.
7. Reducing the incidence of cold sores by the virus Herpes Simplex Type I.
8. Producing B vitamins, such as folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, B12, B6, and pantothenic acid, which are biocatalysts in food metabolism and help fight stress.
9. Lactobacillus species possess anticholesterolemic and antilipidemic factors, which aid in cholesterol reduction.
10. Inhibition of Candida albicans, which is the primary yeast responsible for Candidiasis.
11. Studies at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Nebraska show Lactobacillus to possess a definite anti-tumor activity, and to inhibit tumor proliferation.
● Along with numerous mechanisms of actions that are part of probiotics’ ability to inhibit pathogens, Lactobacilli bacteria actively secrete lactic acid, making the environment about them more suitable for their growth and the exclusion of pathogens.
● The rapid rate at which Enterococcus faecium will grow and multiply enables this probiotic culture to act as an aggressive agent in blocking the growth of pathogenic, toxin-producing microbes.
● Since Pasteur’s germ theory of disease, microorganisms, by and large, have been viewed mostly as an enemy to be vanquished. But increasing evidence indicates that the microbial world is mostly in symbiotic partnership with more complex life forms. Disease may be related more to an organism’s inability to resist illness than to the actual presence of a microbe. Even tragic scourges have been shown to be ameliorated not because of antimicrobials, but rather as a result of the restoration of balances through hygiene and dietary improvements.
● Theoretically, if beneficial organisms could be supported by, and/or introduced into the gastrointestinal tract, health could be enhanced and potential pathogens inhibited. The use of organisms for this purpose is termed probiosis, meaning “for life.” This is in contrast to antibiosis (represented primarily by antibiotics) which means “against life.”
● When it is considered that microorganisms within the digestive tract of a human can exceed 100 billion cells per gram, over 100 trillion cells total, 10-fold the total number of eukaryotic cells in the body, one can begin to understand their potential impact. Such an enormous microbiota interacts nutritionally and physiologically in profound ways only now beginning to be understood. Studies have isolated and identified a host of autochthonous microorganisms (native inhabitants) in the gut and have further shown several of these to directly or indirectly affect health.
● In herbivores, such as the horse, these microbes are more fully understood and respected. They constitute the very means by which plant stuffs (indigestible to humans) can be converted to energy and tissue building blocks.
● Normal gastrointestinal microflora play an indispensable role in combating potential pathogenic microorganisms. Certain species of probiotic bacteria are capable of rapid multiplication, competitive inhibition of disease-producing microorganisms, lowering of the intestinal pH by the production of lactic acid, and production of bacteriocins (natural antibiotics). The probiotic hypothesis suggests that if sufficient numbers of these bacteria are introduced into the intestinal tract at a time when the balance has swung in favor of pathogens (such as at birth, during periods of stress or disease, or following antibiotic therapy), then disease can be minimized or overcome. Although microorganisms have long been used in various fermentative industries and are essential to vast ecological cycles, their use for the explicit purpose of building health is a relatively new, but highly promising application.
● In one study using young pigs as a model, Enterococcus faecium, a probiotic culture found in several Wysong products, was fed for ten days after weaning, and total Escherichia coli (a potential pathogen) counts were made of the feces (see Figure 6). Counts in control pigs (no probiotics) rose dramatically in the first five days and then came back down. The test group receiving the Enterococcus faecium maintained a low fecal E. coli count throughout the test period of ten days. The numbers of hemolytic E. coli, those thought to be most pathogenic in baby pigs, were also measured, and the response was similar. Of interest in these tests is the resurgence of E. coli after the Enterococcus faecium was discontinued while there was no similar resurgence of the hemolytic bacteria. This suggests that Enterococcus faecium is particularly effective in controlling the pathogenic forms of E. coli bacteria. This same conclusion may be drawn if weaning-age foals were used as model.
● In addition to the inhibition of pathogens, probiotics are believed to exert a variety of subtle effects that can enhance overall health and disease resistance. In exchange for the nutrients and comfortable environment provided by the host (symbiosis), probiotics biosynthesize vitamins, essential amino acids, fatty acids, numerous enzymes and unidentified growth factors. Some probiotics also have the capability of inactivating the carcinogenic intestinal b-glucouronidase and nitroreductase. The pronounced microbial role in digestion encourages appetite and facilitates the thorough breakdown and absorption of food substances which are essential to favorable growth in foals and maintenance in adult horses.
● The constant infusion of friendly organisms in the diet, as it happens in the wild through contact with the mother’s milk, and then from natural forage, helps prevent the colonization of diseaseproducing bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, Shigella and others. Probiotic bacteria implant themselves on the mucus-coated walls of the intestine and crowd out and prevent colonization of pathogenic or unfriendly microbes by competitive exclusion. The lactic acid and altered redox potential produced creates an intestinal environment that is not conducive to the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Probiotic organisms compete for food and are also capable of producing natural antibiotics and hydrogen peroxide, which sharply discourage the growth of enteropathogens.
● Resistance to disease in chickens is actually decreased when increasing the “hygiene” of chicks by removing them from the mothers’ droppings. Resistance (to infective doses of 103-106 cells of Salmonellae, for example) can be actually increased by feeding the chicks these droppings. The droppings are the autochthonous inoculum for establishing probiotic cultures in the chicks’ digestive tracts.
● The results of many research studies have pointed out the possibility of improving the health and performance of cattle and other farm animals including the horse, dogs and cats, and even humans through the use of probiotics (bioregulation). Lactobacilli probiotics have been found, for example, in newborn pigs just four hours after birth. (The inclusion of Lactobacillus acidophilus in the diet of young piglets also decreases the number of E. coli in the digestive tract.) Nature has obviously recognized the importance of providing a healthy start on life by implanting helpful bacteria via colostrum and environmental contact, before harmful bacteria can overpopulate the young’s initially sterile system.
● Optimal health, not just the absence of disease, must be the goal every horseman strives for with each newborn foal. Sound health translates into optimum growth. Probiotics provide an excellent safe, natural, and effective means of helping to achieve these goals. Not only can probiotics fight and resist disease, but they have the capability of bolstering overall health.
● Enterococcus faecium benefits are many: fermentation of carbohydrates to lactic acid thus lowering pH and discouraging pathogenic growth; increased palatability and appetite stimulation; production of antitoxins; microbial insensitivity to many antibiotics; production of hydrogen peroxide which exerts a bacteriocidal effect on pathogens; yielding of a metabolite that has specific activity against E. coli; production of a variety of bacteriocins which act against such pathogenic species as Pseudomonas and Salmo- nella; a significant increase in feed efficiency; improvement in daily weight gain; and a decline in mortality.
● Lactobacillus first implants in the young’s digestive tract via the mother’s milk, then begins to exert a protective and beneficial role which is important throughout life. Lactobacillus spp. increase resistance to stress and resultant disease; increase feed efficiency and weight gain; increase food palatability and appetite; inhibit the growth of enteropathogenic organisms; and have a direct nutritional enhancing effect. Lactobacilli include the following species: acidophilus, lactis, plantarum and casei. These Lactobacillus species inhibit such pathogens as S. aureus, B. proteus, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, and E. coli.
● Prebiotic short-chain carbohydrates are components of yeast cultures, artichoke, garlic and other plants, and are beneficial to the horse in several aspects. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are utilized by Bifidobacteria, a probiotic strain of bacteria. Multiplication of these bacteria contributes to the competitive exclusion action of probiotics. Mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) are actual pathogen inhibitors in the gut which act by binding lectin receptor sites on the pathogenic bacteria, thereby blocking implantation on cell membranes (see Figure 8). Digestive function is enhanced by increased digestibility of soluble fiber and fiber-like activity of non-digestible oligosaccharides. Stimulation of specific and non-specific immune responses, including cancer preventing activity, are also benefits. Studies in pigs and turkeys have shown that systemic IgG (immunoglobulin G) and IgA concentrations increase significantly after consuming oligosaccharides, indicating enhanced immune response.
● Bacillus subtilis fermentation products, which have been used for 50 years or more in animal feeding, generate protease and amylase enzymes which promote digestion of proteins and carbohydrates over a broad pH range. Due to the variety of non-enzyme metabolites produced in addition to amylase and protease enzymes, inhibitory effects upon other microbial populations in close regional proximity can occur due to competitive inhibition (see “Rationale for Probiotic Supplementation”). Bacillus subtilis also produces b-glucanase, an enzyme which breaks the b-1, 3-glucose polymer in complex carbohydrate grains: soy, barley, milo, and others. Bacillus subtilis remains active when excreted with manure, resulting in less odor, faster decomposition, and improved reduction of solids in the manure.
● Probiotics – dietary friendly microbial cultures – such as found in Wysong Probiosyn, have also been proven to be effective in arthritic conditions. By populating the digestive tract with beneficial organisms, the digestive process is enhanced, micronutrients are synthesized and absorbed, pathogens are inhibited, and the immune response is modified.
● Probiotics play a vital and beneficial role in health. Intestinal probiotics help digestion and augment overall health by improving nutrient availability, synthesizing enzymes and vitamins, promoting anticarcinogenic activity, enhancing the immune system, and regulating bowel function. Further, one of the best mechanisms for protecting against digestive tract infections is the competitive exclusion of pathogens via establishment of proper intestinal flora. If the digestive tract is populated with sufficient numbers of “friendly” microorganisms, pathogens cannot easily take root. Although the exact mechanism of action is not known, it is believed that probiotic organisms act through nutrient exclusion, competition for attachment sites, production of volatile fatty acids and fermentative gases that inhibit pathogens, and by decreasing the oxidationreduction potential.
● Dentatreat TM probiotics and enzymes provide many internal benefits which have been described at great length in other publications, and also offer benefits specific to dental health. One action is to reduce the number of putrefactive bacteria responsible for bad breath. The probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus aids in optimizing calcium metabolism and produces the amino acid L-lysine, which has been linked to limiting tooth decay. DentaTreat also provides important prebiotic oligosaccharides, which function to nourish the beneficial active probiotics.
● Despite the inclination to regard microorganisms as the enemy, the majority of these tiny life forms favor cohabitation and cooperation – not conflict. While some microorganisms are villains, others, termed probiotics, can and do play a very beneficial role in maintaining health. Intestinal probiotics, particularly bacteria, play an important role in determining the digestive mechanisms and general health of all animals, humans included. In essence, just about anything that changes the natural, quiescent, homeostatic state can create stress, disrupting gastrointestinal flora. Probiotics (pro-life), as opposed to antibiotics (anti-life), can enhance the immune system, inhibit pathogens, decrease disease recovery time, and create an overall improvement in health.
● Wysong Super Flour TM also contains prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Fructooligosaccharides are indigestible carbohydrates, which pass intact into the colon where they promote the growth of certain “friendly” bacteria (probiotics). The selective stimulation of probiotic bacteria is accompanied by a significant reduction in the number of pathogenic bacteria via competitive exclusion.
● There is a constant battle in the digestive system between the good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are active (live) yogurt-like cultures of microorganisms that shift the balance in favor of the good guys – thus increasing immune strength and digestive function.
● For over 3,000 years, people in various parts of the world have been making and consuming yogurt. Known for its beneficial probiotic properties (immune enhancement, growth factors, antagonism to disease agents, nutrient production, etc.), the yogurt powder used in WPS contains 34% protein, 12.5% calcium and is devoid of trans fat. The natural fauna of L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus – the healthy bacteria in yogurt, is further enhanced with added probiotics including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Enterococcus faecium.”
So here you have it.
Here is my version: All mammals have “good” bacteria in their gastrointestinal tract. Billions of the right bacteria naturally occur in the small and large intestines. It is estimated that the number of bacteria in the bowel outnumbers the number of cells in the body. When GI bacteria are the correct type and in balance, good things happen, vitamins are made, harmful bacteria are inhibited and toxins are broken down. The balance can be upset or diminished by a high grain diet (fermentation of complex carbohydrates causes growth of yeast and unfriendly bacteria), a weak immune system, toxins from food, artificial food ingredients such as coloring agents, dyes, digest, chemical additives or preservatives and antibiotics. The addition of prebiotics can reestablish the population of these beneficial organisms. Or, shorter yet: Probiotics aid the digestive and immune systems. They also aid in nutrient absorption for a healthier, happier pet.
Stay tuned for part 2 when we take a closer look at the relationship between probiotics and enzymes, also related to this topic.
Contributed in large by Wysong