Protect the gut
September 16, 2018
As societal demands increase for livestock producers to reduce the use of antibiotics, so have the number of products hitting the shelves that aim to boost animal health, prevent disease and treat illnesses without antibiotics.
On August 8, 2018, Precision Health Technologies, LLC, of Brookings, S.D., announced it had acquired the marketing distribution rights for the line of Grazix natural animal health products. Under this agreement, Precision Health assumes all distribution, marketing and product support activities for Grazix products.
So how has Grazix captured the power of plants to promote health and wellness in hogs, poultry, dairy and beef cattle? The two main ingredients may surprise people — green tea and pomegranates.
"LiveLeaf is now focusing on human health, and so this shifts the geographical focus to the Midwest where there are many livestock operations nearby," said Zachary Wochok, Grazix Animal Health president. "Precision Health is positioned to advance the Grazix brand and work with distributors to meet the needs of the animal agriculture industry."
Precision Health Technologies was founded in 2015 and is headquartered at South Dakota State University's Research Park.
"Our location is separate from the university but allows us to work with SDSU's researchers, student talents and laboratories to assist us in trials and development of products," said Little. "It's a unique situation that gives us the opportunity to tap the resources of the university in a public/private manner. We are currently developing additional animal health products for companion animals and equine, and we are committed to creating products that support the animal microbiome for optimal animal health."
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Daniel Little, DVM, Precision Health Technologies president and CEO, says producers are looking for antibiotic alternatives.
"To address this, the Grazix team has created stable polyphenol-oxidant complexes that mimic intact plant cells and use enzymes in the gut to target bioactivity that may provide immunologic benefits."
While producers are familiar with using pre- and pro-biotics to promote "good" bugs within the intestine to ward off the "bad" bugs, Grazix products work differently by providing a gut barrier to protect the normal microbiome and improve tolerance for a wide range of production stresses.
Matt Schutte, technical sales representative for Healthy Farms by Bioverse in Worthington, Minn., works in distribution and sales of the Grazix line of products, and he says the products are uniquely formulated to work as a shield of protection to promote optimal health in animals.
Schutte said, "Grazix products work much different than probiotics because they don't compete with other bacteria; instead they utilize the power of a plant's immune system, where every single cell of the plant has the ability to fight infection and disease, to reduce damage from disease, speed recovery, isolate toxins and pathogens, slow down the spread of viruses and prevent them from entering cells. It's really a unique product that is a natural and effective way to reduce diseases in livestock."
The Grazix lineup includes Porcine F, Porcine W, Bovine C and Avian S, and each is formulated to be administered orally or added to water during times of transition or digestive stress.
"Our producers have seen a reduction of the number of days an animal will have scours, and depending on the disease and severity, they will see a similar response as antibiotics," said Schutte. "At first glance, it sounds like foo-foo dust, but it's actually a great all-natural product that yields fast results for our producers."
A recent study conducted in the U.S., looked at 40 litters (over 500 piglets) at three sow farms. These piglets were monitored and at the first sign of scour, a single serving of Grazix supplement was administered; then the time to resolution was recorded.
The results, said Schutte, showed that 83 percent of all piglets under eight days of age had their scour resolved with one administration no later than the next day. The experiment showed an increase in beneficial bifidobacteria and lactobacillus activity, a reduction in harmful clostridia, an improvement in intestinal barrier function, reduced gut inflammation post challenge and no significant effect on blood chemistry.
A second study, conducted in the Netherlands, evaluated 43,745 piglets on 20 farms. These piglets were monitored for scours and mortality for three months, and if they got sick, the piglets were treated with either antibiotics or with Grazix supplements in the water for one day (and no antibiotics). The results indicated the mortality rate of piglets after an administration of antibiotics was 21 percent, and with Grazix, it was 11 percent.
For cattle producers, Bovine C works in similar fashion as the Porcine F and W and is a great tool to treat scours in calves with an oral treatment and in a milk replacer, say representatives.
"One of our customers uses Bovine C for his replacement heifer calves each year," said Schutte. "He purchases 400 heifer calves annually from different dairies, and he's always battling coccidiosis, rotavirus and scours during the winter months. Since starting this product, he has seen a reduction of scours breakouts in his heifers by 90 percent, and he says it takes a couple days less time than usual to recover from scours."
Bovine C, he said, can be used a few different ways. For example, dairy producers are more likely to use this as a preventative measure and prefer to administer the product through the milk replacer, giving a dose for three days at feeding time just as the label describes. However, because of the nature of cattle ranching, many beef producers who use the Grazix products opt to only treat sick calves and administer a one-time mega-dose orally.
"It becomes very economical to use because producers can reduce the dose on the label rate depending on the severity of the case," said Schutte. "The label instructs producers to administer Grazix to a calf 30 ml twice a day for three days, so 180 ml total. One of my producers has seen a reduction in scours even by administering a single dose of just 40 ml, and that becomes extremely cost effective. Our farmers are really great judges of the product. When a sick calf has a quick turnaround after a single dose, that's the ultimate test."
Grazix is a subsidiary of LiveLeaf, Inc. in California, but it now has a prominent place in the Midwest, which opens new opportunities for the region's producers to access the products.
To learn more about the Grazix products, visit phtllc.com or contact Dr. Little at 605-696-5606.