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Probiotics is the term used to refer to several classes of bacteria (and yeasts) that confer beneficial effects to the hosts whose guts they colonize. The word "probiotics" isderived from: pro (for) and biotic (bios, life). Probiotic bacteria include members of the clades of Lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus acidophilus), Bifidobacterium, and other bacilli. Research in the last few decades have shown the probiotic supplements can confer many beneficial effects in areas such as immunity, cancer, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cholesterol, and possibly blood pressure.

There are several ways in which probiotics work. First, probiotic bacteria can compete for space with pathogenic bacteria in the gut. Simply put, if the "nice guys" are already there taking up space, then there is no place for the "bad guys" to set up camp. Secondly, probiotic organisms can interfere with the pathogens' ability to adhere, or bind, to cells in the gut. This is similar to competition for space. If the pathogen can't grab on to a host cell, then it's not able to establish an infection. Next, some probiotic organisms are able to produce their own antibiotics, which kill off the pathogenic bacteria. Finally, multiple studies have shown that probiotics are able to stimulate and recruit the cells of the immune system, thus enabling the host to fight off the pathogenic bacteria.

At least two studies have shown the beneficial effects of probiotics in goldfish. Interestingly, both studies have shown that you don't even need to feed live probiotic bacteria in order to get these beneficial effecfts, because in goldfish, what these probiotics do is to stimulate the fish's immune system to be super-effective at fighting off the infections. The studies were able to show that administration of probiotics in the feed (food) of goldfish completely protected these fish against Aeromonas-infection-induced lethality!

In conclusion, probiotics have been shown to be very beneficial to their hosts in helping to combat infections. You just have to add it their food, or find food that already contain pro-biotics! Interestingly, two foods that contain probiotics are Pro-Gold & Saki Hikari purple bag :)


Effect of chemotherapy, vaccines and immunostimulants on innate immunity of goldfish infected with Aeromonas hydrophila.

Harikrishnan R, Balasundaram C, Heo MS.

Dis Aquat Organ. 2009 Dec 22;88(1):45-54.

Oral administration of formalin-inactivated cells of Aeromonas hydrophila A3-51 controls infection by atypical A. salmonicida in goldfish, Carassius auratus (L.).

Irianto A, Robertson PA, Austin B.

J Fish Dis. 2003 Feb;26(2):117-20.


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