Yogurt for Livestock: Deja Vu, all over again!


It is well documented that antibiotics in livestock feed lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria—a severe threat to human health. A researcher at Iowa State University is investigating the use of Lactobacillus acidophilus as an aid to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock feed. L. acidophilous is found in yogurt. 


When I just a kid, I spent a lot of time on my Uncle Gustav’s farm in Missouri. That was 75 years ago. He and Aunt Anna seasonally milked eight or ten cows - by hand.  The milk was ‘separated’ and the cream was sold to a company in St. Louis.  The skim milk quickly went “sour” as a result of the naturally occurring Lactobacillus acidophilus.  He fed the clabbered milk to his pigs and chickens.  They were all productive and healthy. 

In the 1960’s I started using and recommending lactobacillus products in my veterinary practice.  I used a product called Kulactic - from a company in Mason City, Iowa. I prescribed it for diarrhea and other intestinal problems in animals and sometimes even in humans.  Some folks ridiculed the idea, but, those that used it liked the results. 

Commercial Lactobacillus products have been available for at least 50 years. I wonder why the universities waited so long to research a natural product. I’m guessing they were caught up in the antibiotic craze and totally enthralled by the lavish amounts of grant-money available for antibiotic research.

It is gratifying to see university scientists finally taking a look at the empirical technology of a bygone era.
Kudos to these researchers. 

Learn more: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/13/473947083/taking-cues-from-human-nutrition-to-reduce-antibiotic-use-in-livestock?ft=nprml&f=1001