Why Animals Get Better Health Care Than You Do

I’ll keep this short and shrill.

I’ve noticed a funny pattern while researching the availability of various isolated prebiotic fibers and gut-enhancing supplements. Namely, that they are almost all meant for animals. Humans need not apply.

Don’t believe me?

Resistant starch — the miraculous white powder that type 1 and type 2 diabetics have suddenly found stabilizes blood sugar? Hogs have been chowing down on it for years, turns out.

Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) — a really interesting one. Seems to help keep the really bad guys like salmonella and e. coli from colonizing the intestinal wall by binding them. Interested? Sorry, horses, chickens, and pigs only.

Lactulose. Highly bifidogenic disaccharide formed by the isomerization of lactose. $8.99 at VetRx. Kitty will thank you!

Short-chain fructooligosaccharides. Pure, unadulterated FOS. This one we talk about a lot. Crack for good bugs. This one seems legit. Any happy customers? Hmm, just one review:

My vet recommended this for my dog, due to the fact that his medications had caused him to have soft stool. This product returned his daily ” business ” to it’s normal routine, and within a few days he was right as rain.

Wish humans had vets.

So what’s going on here?

I think it’s rather simple. You can’t make money from sick animals. All of these supplemental fibers have one basic use — to keep animals healthy. At some point, people who make money keeping and raising livestock realized that these things are necessary to keep their animals alive and healthy. There’s just no incentive to let animals get sick, and every incentive to keep them healthy.

See where I’m going?

With humans, it’s just the opposite: You can’t make money from healthy people. They have to get sick first. No conspiracy, just a broken system with perverse incentives.

But hey, I’m sure once they fix the website, we’ll all be fine.

It’s enough to make you go crazy, right?

— Heisenbug


24 thoughts on “Why Animals Get Better Health Care Than You Do

    • The problem with these products is that I have no idea what these really are.

      The first one is called Inulin-FOS. I don’t even know what that is. Inulin and FOS are two different things. Inulin is long chain, FOS is short chain. Which is it? At best, it’s a mix of the two.

      The second one seems fine until you read the label: “FOS are long chain sugars that are indigestible by humans…” No, FOS are short-chain. Either they don’t know what they are talking about, or this is actually inulin. Most of the products on the market seem to actually be inulin or inulin/FOS mix.

      • Would there be a down side to taking a a supplement that includes both short and long chains? I’ve read a lot about the benefits of short chains here and other placed but I’m not seeing a lot of info on long chains out there.

      • Long-chain inulin is known to sometimes cause a little more gastrointestinal upset/bloating than short chains, so if that happens it may be the inulin. But other than that, no downside. Inulin is an important one to have in the mix. Different fermentation characteristics (metabolite production, fermentation site) from RS and FOS. They are all complementary and are found in a diet with lots of plant diversity.

  1. Have you seen this video by an MD tracing where the money goes?

    Basically, MDs and hospitals pile on huge rates to get what they can, insurance companies pay a fraction. The uninsured pay retail and get screwed.

    Prescription drugs are equally opaque and dysfunctional. TLDR: Use Costco, without insurance. You can buy without being a member

  2. Heisenbug, it gets better: Wellness cat kibble contains probiotic bacteria.

    And toothpaste for pets contains enzymes which disrupt dental plaque. The human version, Biotene also contained enzymes and lactoferrin but Glaxo Smith Kline bought out the company and removed all the active ingredients and added methyl- and propyl- parabens…….yummy. I contacted the other manufacturer, Orazyme, but they don’t make their product anymore either. I guess big Pharma bought them out too and then destroyed everything. Now that the product is useless, the price is still the same. It is entirely outrageous.

  3. I’ve read in a paper by Indian researchers that the mucilage of okra may be able to bind to mannose-binding bacteria. Is it also partly composed of Mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS)? Correct me if I’m mistaken here …

    • Mucilages are a soluble fiber polysaccharide and can be high in mannans, so that could be. Okra is my favorite source of mucilage, but you can also get it from flaxseed, psyllium, and chia seeds.

      • My neighbor who has blood sugar level problems told me a while back that he consumes okra mucilage and that helps him control his blood sugar. He cuts in two a couple of okra fruits, puts them in a water container and he then drinks from the container throughout the day. Apparently he is not the only one to do this as he got the idea from the wife of a medical doctor. I can surmise that the mechanism is at least in part increased butyrate production like that with scFOS and resistant starch.

  4. UR AN ANIMAL PHARMER lol ahah!

    Did you know that the Genova Diagnostics DNA PCR 16s rRNA stool GI FX testing for humans has been available for CANINES AND FELINES from vets???!

    As you know I prefer because they test pathogens beyond bacterial origins
    –viruses (GDX doesn’t yet)
    –fungi, candida
    –protozoa, giardia, etc
    –worms, helminths

    2625 Canine Diarrhea RealPCR™ Panel
    Giardia spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Salmonella spp.,
    Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin A gene,
    canine enteric coronavirus, canine parvovirus 2 and
    canine distemper virus RealPCR tests
    5 g of fresh fecal material; 1 g minimum

    2627 Feline Diarrhea RealPCR™ Panel —Comprehensive
    Tritrichomonas foetus, Giardia spp., Cryptosporidium
    spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Salmonella spp., Clostridium
    perfringens enterotoxin A gene, feline coronavirus
    (FeCoV) and feline panleukopenia virus Re

    It’s true — diabetic cats get better care than ADA human diabetic care — felines can get their sugars checked every 15min but humans every 2 hrs, way longer after glycation damage is worse.

    In Europe and Canada where antimicrobial/antibiotics are now banned and restricted in poultry and livestock, they get better prebiotics and probiotics.

    Shant have you read this Vet? He knows more than human psychiatrists, GPs, and gastroeneterologists!
    Intestinal Microbiota
    of Dogs and Cats:
    a Bigger World than
    We Thought

    16S rRNA Gene Pyrosequencing Reveals Bacterial Dysbiosis in the Duodenum of Dogs with Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    COMPANION ANIMALS SYMPOSIUM: Microbes and gastrointestinal health of dogs and cats

  5. Funny, I was just discussing this with my brother over the holidays. He gives both probiotics and prebiotics to his beef calves with their feed – he says it makes a big difference in how much they eat and how well they gain weight and of course in their overall health. Made me decide to go buy some probiotics for myself.

    • That’s really interesting, since antibiotics are known to also help livestock gain weight. But I imagine since you’re talking about calves, the pro/prebiotics may be helping with “healthy growth” rather than unnatural fat accumulation.

      • Yes, since these are young calves one of the first things he addresses is the stress of being weaned from their mothers – and the probiotics help their bodies deal with that stress and improve their appetites so they continue to grow (maybe also helps replace some of the good bacteria they were getting from the mothers milk?).

  6. I figured out the Inulin/FOS thing. It’s actually inulin-derived FOS. Reading these descriptions, it sounds like all FOS is man-made. Could that be true? Now I’m really confused.

    From wikipedia:

    “Two different classes of fructooligosaccharide (FOS) mixtures are produced commercially, based on inulin degradation or transfructosylation processes.

    FOS can be produced by degradation of inulin, or polyfructose, a polymer of D-fructose residues linked by β(2→1) bonds with a terminal α(1→2) linked D-glucose. The degree of polymerization of inulin ranges from 10 to 60. Inulin can be degraded enzymatically or chemically to a mixture of oligosaccharides with the general structure Glu-(Fru)n (GFn) and Frum (Fm), with n and m ranging from 1 to 7. This process also occurs to some extent in nature, and these oligosaccharides can be found in a large number of plants, especially in Jerusalem artichoke and chicory. The main components of commercial products are kestose (GF2), nystose (GF3), fructosylnystose (GF4), bifurcose (GF3), inulobiose (F2), inulotriose (F3), and inulotetraose (F4).

    The second class of FOS is prepared by the transfructosylation action of a β-fructosidase of Aspergillus niger on sucrose. The resulting mixture has the general formula of GFn, with n ranging from 1 to 5. Contrary to the inulin-derived FOS, not only is there β(1→2) binding but other linkages do occur, however, in limited numbers.[2]

    Because of the configuration of their osidic bonds, fructooligosaccharides resist hydrolysis by salivary and intestinal digestive enzymes. In the colon they are fermented by anaerobic bacteria. In other words, they have a lower caloric value, while contributing to the dietary fiber fraction of the diet. Fructooligosaccharides are more soluble than inulins and are, therefore, sometimes used as an additive to yogurt and other (dairy) products. Fructooligosaccharides are used specially in combination with high-intensity artificial sweeteners, whose sweetness profile and aftertaste it improves.

    This from an article of food safety questioning inulin as an FOS:

    “FOS is referred to as those fructose polymers with β(2→1) fructosyl-fructose linkages, where the average Degree of Polymerisation (DP) is less than four; and oligofructose means those fructans with β(2→1) fructosyl-fructose linkages, where the average DP is less than ten but greater than or equal to four. However, in scientific literature the terms FOS and oligofructose have exactly the same meaning and can be used interchangeably ie. oligo means “few” whether it is used in “oligofructose” or “fructo-oligosaccharide”. Therefore NZFSA believes that the terms “FOS” and “oligofructose” should not be used to describe two substances that have different degrees of polymerisation. This should be reflected in the Draft Variation at Attachment 1 to the DAR.

    Inulin is a generic term for a range of fructose polymers – fructans and fructooligosaccharides. This Proposal considers using the term long chain inulin to describe inulin that has a DP > 23. However this infers that only the long chains are being referred to and therefore inulin is not being considered.”

  7. I don’t think it is JUST a follow the money thing with sick people. A lot of medical and diet “knowledge” is tied to politics. Such as “heart health” omega -6 oils and grains. In agriculture, the health of the animal is the bottom line and there isn’t enough money/research ego’s/politics/political correctness to perverse the studies. Look into supplementation of amino acids with pigs. Actually, look into any research on pigs. Pigs are very similar to humans, but the studies are a lot more targeted and do not have the preconceived results (such as the China study). Thus the results are much more to the point.

  8. This is fascinating, because I’ve been combing the internet trying to find something other than estrogen supplementation to combat my chronic urinary tract infections, which are caused by e-coli overgrowth. There should be something to kill the damn e-coli – what is so hard about that? And I see there is MOS. And I see there is a form of it that’s been used successfully in studies – that has been patented. So – now what? I have to get my hands on this in some form. Any ideas?

    • I’ve had only a few UTIs but each time got rid of them successfully and quickly with cranberry capsules, increased water intake and sugar avoidance. Gone within a few days.

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