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Friday, December 26, 2014

Probiotics, Prebiotics, Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch


 

By Clayn; Co-Founder of Paradigm Fish Foods

Probiotics has been a hot topic in the fish food world recently. 

Probiotics is defined as a live microorganism that confers health benefits to the host, typically as these friendly flora colonize your intestines.

prebiotic is defined as a food which provides nutrition to the only good bacteria in your gut, but not to the bad bacteria (or only provides very minimal nourishment to the bad bacteria, by comparison), so that the good bacteria flourish, and the bad bacteria starve to death.


In 1907 Elie Metchnikoff came up with the concept of Probiotics  The fact that Probiotics has not advanced along with other medical practices in over 100 years speaks volumes to me. 

While feeding Probiotics every day would maintain a good number of beneficial flora in the fish's digestive tract I don't see why its necessary.

Why not feed the beneficial bacteria aka flora that already exist in the digestive tract?

What do the beneficial bacteria eat?



Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement.

Green peas contain 34% Fiber. Of that percentage 25% is Soluble Fiber. A portion of Soluble Fiber are called Prebiotic Fibers. Prebiotic Fibers are the preferred food of the good bacteria living in your fish's digestive tract.

Resistant Starch

Resistant Starch is starch and starch degradation products that escape from digestion in the small intestine of healthy individuals. Resistant starch is considered the third type of dietary fiber, as it can deliver some of the benefits of insoluble fiber and some of the benefits of soluble fiber.

Green peas contain 20% starch. Approximately 10 percent of the starch total is Resistant starch which is not used for energy. Resistant starch serves the same purpose as soluble fiber.

I thought a lot about whether our food contained enough Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch then I remembered that we had an individual with no ties to Paradigm test our formulas. Rebecca is the fish food critics critic. Honestly I was a little nervous sending her food to test as she is very thorough and brutally honest. Here is what Rebecca had to say in her review:

"I was recently asked to try Paradigm Fish Food. I wasn't asked to promote it. It is a newer food and the maker just wanted my honest blunt opinion. When I looked over the ingredients lists for the different formulas, I noticed they were very short. At first I was concerned that the formulas might lack certain vitamins. I looked up the nutritional values of each ingredient. I found that the caloric content of each formula is appropriate, but not excessive. With protein, all the essential amino acids are provided. The fats are the right type and come from desirable sources. Unlike most foods, there isn't an excessive amount of carbs from fillers. I also made sure all vitamins were represented, which they are. There isn't an endless list of additives, so you don't need a degree in chemistry to know what's in your fish's food. Most importantly, each formula provides balanced nutrition. 

Most foods are packed with additives, but the fish has a hard time digesting the actual ingredients. If the food can't be broken down, then the intestines can not absorb the nutrients.  I tested how efficiently each formula was digested. All formulas were digested efficiently, which means the fish were able to breakdown and absorb the nutrients.

Given what I found, I feel that Paradigm Fish Food is one of the best foods available. It isn't a big company, and it isn't a label slapped on an anonymous mill food. It is made by passionate hobbyists, who started out wanting the best food for their fish. Now they want to help provide superior nutrition for the fish of other hobbyists. They put in the effort to get off to an amazing start, and I wish them nothing but the best."
Rebecca Beausoleil 

Rebecca's review assured me that the fish were able to use all of the nutrients provided in our food.

I am pleased to say that Probiotics are not needed if you are feeding your fish enough Soluble Fiber and Resistant Starch to maintain healthy colonies of the beneficial bacteria.


OTHER ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR

*Whats wrong with making Dough in Fish Food?
*Cyanobacteria (Spirulina) and Algae - Pond Grown vs. Naturally Grown
*Fish Nutrition 101
*How to Read a Fish Food Label & Energy (Fat, Starch and Sugar)


FURTHER SUGGESTED RESOURCES:

Aquarium Fish Nutrition, Reading Fish Food Label
Aquarium Fish Nutrition


Common Aquarium Keeping Myths

Oregon Grape, Berberine for Aquarium Fish Treatment


Paradigm Fish Foods

• Carnivore, • Omnivore, • Herbivore, • Grow, • Graze (compare to sinking algae wafers)


Aquarium or Pond UV Sterilization

A MUST read article for any serious aquarium keeper, especially with the plethora of junk UV Sterilizers that are not really even Sterilizers flooding the market from Amazon, eBay, & others


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