Harnessing the power of probiotics in cows: Healthy Cow


The impact of microbial dietary supplements on animal performance and health has become increasingly significant in recent years. As a result, direct-fed microbials (DFM) have piqued the curiosity of various authors in recent decades. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-pathogenic and non-toxic and can have a beneficial effect on the host animals when given at the right dose. DFM such as yeast and bacterial species are examples of ruminant-specific probiotics. Probiotics are still a new and unfamiliar technology in cows, but they are gaining acceptance as a result of current restrictions and customer demands. In the United States, about 20% of cows are fed some sort of probiotic. Alternative technologies are more likely to be accepted by larger herds. nutritionists gave some primary reasons for recommending probiotics:

Ø Higher milk production efficiency

Ø Improved carbohydrate and fiber digestion

Ø Improved herd health

Ø Be able to exist at low stomach pH and be resistant to bile acids, as well as being tolerated by the animal's immune system.

Ø Have a good effect on the animal's organism and should not be pathogenic, allergenic, or mutagenic/carcinogenic to the animal.

Ø Have the ability to adhere to intestinal epithelial cells, multiply, and colonize the gastrointestinal tract permanently or occasionally (or active in its presumed site).

Ø Have the ability to survive in the digestive tract under poor storage and living conditions.



Different probiotics have different modes of action, which are not fully known, likely because their actions were carried out in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) lumen or in the GIT wall. Despite the fact that probiotics are being promoted as a replacement for Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP), the mechanisms of action of these feed additives appear to be different. Bacterial probiotics work in three different ways. The first is by preventing germs from binding to the gut wall by competitive attachment. The second mechanism of action is an antibacterial-like activity, which can aid in the reduction of microorganisms in the intestine. Modulation of immunological response, which improves the host's response to disease, is the final mode of action.

Gastrointestinal and probiotics:

Probiotics (dry or live) used as natural feed additions that have been demonstrated to increase animal performance and welfare by modulating the gut microbial ecology, which is critical for maintaining host homeostasis. When supplied as a single or multi-strain feed supplement, probiotics have a positive influence on animal growth rate and production performance. When we consider the GIT, we learn that it is a complicated system that serves a variety of functions in the animal's life. It's where the feed is broken down and nutrients are absorbed. It is also where about 75% of the immune system resides. The intestine defense system is made up of epithelial connections between cells, a mucous layer, immunoglobulins, and antimicrobial peptides. Pathogens can harm the intestinal lining and cause inflammation if this barrier is breached.

Effect on Milk production

Probiotics are used in livestock feed to improve the health of the animals as well as to assure food safety. Furthermore, yeast is supposed to promote rumen function, leading to increased nutrient bioavailability, which improves milk production while ensuring the animal's digestive comfort. The use of probiotics as ruminant feed supplements improves milk supply, milk quality, and functional components like protein and fat content. Probiotic dairy products have been found to be safe for large-scale consumption in studies. Dairy cows given probiotic species Aspergillus oryzae and Saccharomyces cerevisiae enhanced milk output and milk proteins, according to a study.

Probiotics and immune system

The effect of probiotics on the immune system is fascinating. Some probiotic strains can boost the innate immune response, allowing host cells to recognize infections faster. This helps to minimize tissue damage, as well as inflammation. Damaged tissue reduces the GIT's ability to absorb nutrients and raises the risk of further bacterial damage. Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus casei strain Shirota, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and yeast have all been investigated for their ability to induce an immunological response. Lactobacillus casei raised the expression of the innate immune receptor TLR2 and activated immune cells of the innate immune response when given orally.



Probiotics are commonly employed in the cattle industry for both dairy and beef cows at all phases of development and growth. DFM or probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, have been shown to benefit dairy cows, beef cattle, neonatal calves, and periparturient cows growth, production performance (milk production, milk functional components, and milk composition), and immune response. Additionally, probiotic treatment has been shown to reduce ruminal acidity in feedlot cattle and dairy cows, as well as increase immunological response in stressed calves. Probiotics boosted food intake, improved feed efficiency, and raised average daily growth in dairy cows. Increased enzyme activity in the GIT of cattle fed a high-protein diet. The presence of probiotics could be related to the probiotics ability to produce enzymes, a natural or artificial shift in the microbial population, resulting in an increase in enzyme synthesis, Another reason could be that probiotics increase the height of intestinal villi and villus, increasing the surface area available for nutrient absorption. In a research, when administering a mix of lactobacillus and propionibacterium, we normally find a 2 to 3 percent increase in milk production efficiency. Different researches detect an improvement in starch and fibre digestibility in field and university investigations. In a few field studies with larger dairies, probiotic feeding resulted in a significant increase in health, with a reduction of over 40% in unfavorable health occurrences. If we can maintain a cow healthy, it will use less feed, produce more milk, and improve milk check.


Generally, probiotics have been found to improve the health of calves and increase the efficiency of milk production in cows. The use of probiotics in animal nutrition has become a hot topic in recent years, thanks to advances in our understanding of gastro-intestinal microbial ecology, mode of action, and species (or strains) separation techniques. As a result, DFM is a promising future ruminant nutrition not only because of its favorable effects, but also because of its minor residual influence on animals and animal products. DFM can be used as a potential input in dairy cattle feed biotechnology, resulting in increased milk output, productivity and composition.

1 comment:

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