Importance of antioxidants in dog food
Antioxidants in the dog food are additives that preserve the product; natural antioxidants provide numerous benefits to the health of your pet.
The role of antioxidants in dog food is not always clear. In principle, we can say that thanks to these components in your dog’s food, the product achieves its conservation.
It is easy to understand that the antioxidant content in dog food preparation helps keep their flavors and their nutritional properties. In addition, antioxidant intake itself dog health benefits.
What is the oxidation process?
Oxidation is the process that occurs when the food is exposed to oxygen. Progressively, oxygen will cause the breakdown of nutrients in the food — the result of oxidation in foods ranging from discoloration to rancidity.
Thus, an antioxidant compound functions to block or slow the rate at which oxygen causes decomposition.
Antioxidants as additives in food processing extend the life of the final product.
What they do once ingested antioxidants?
In addition to preserving pet food, food antioxidants in dogs can protect body cells from oxidative damage. Every day, the body is exposed to the destructive effects of free radicals which are normally produced in the body.
These free radicals are unstable and highly reactive. In health, the body has mechanisms to maintain a proper balance in the levels of free radicals. They can cause cell damage if the balance is lost, and there is an excess of free radicals.
Free radicals can usually serve as a weapon to kill pathogens that invade the body. Excessively attack a number of white cells, including lipid membranes, enzymes that carry out metabolic processes, and the DNA sequence.
The nervous and immune systems of our pets are especially vulnerable to oxidative damage. Excess free radicals are now considered a factor in the progression of the disease and premature aging in dogs and cats.
Antioxidants that come from the diet slow the damage caused by free radicals; prevent the spread of cell damage.
Where do antioxidants?
Typically, two types of antioxidants used in dog food: natural and synthetic.
They include vitamins C, E, citric acid, and some herbal sources such as rosemary.
- Vitamin C or ascorbic acid: content fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, tomatoes, spinach, and berries.
- Citric acid : citric acid natural sources are citrus fruits.
- Natural Vitamin E: on the labels of commercial food, vitamin E is included commonly as ‘mixed tocopherols.’ It is found in corn oil, sunflower, safflower, and soybean, as well as nuts and seeds, and leafy green vegetables.
- Selenium present in meat (red) and fish, vegetables, and also vegetables.
- Beta carotene: found especially in vegetables, dark green, like spinach, dandelions, chard or broccoli, as well as carrots, yams or sweet potatoes, and squash.
These compounds are created in a laboratory. They listed on the label with the initials BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
- The BHA and BHT compounds are chemically similar to vitamin E . Often, they used in combination with dog food because they work well together. Both are very stable at high temperatures.
- Ethoxyquin, produced by the consortium Monsanto, has been a controversial additive but is currently allowed in pet foods at low levels. The Food of the United States (FDA) and considered it safe drugs at very low doses.
Following the results of several scientific studies, experts conclude:
- TBHQ, a compound derived from metabolism BHA has a carcinogenic and genotoxic effect (affecting DNA), while the BHA, which has no effect teratogénico- itself, is potentially allergenic.
- BHA and BHT are also mentioned in a list issued by the FDA as an endocrine disruptor (hindering lipid metabolism). The European Commission listed these substances as a major concern in view of the results of studies on reproductive toxicity and endocrine-disrupting properties and with respect to its use in food.
Choosing a dog food
Always tries to read the list of ingredients of the dog food bag. Please note that the pet food companies must list the antioxidants and their common names. You’ll also see a note of what ingredients are used as a preservative.
To make wise when selecting your dog’s food, become an informed consumer decision. Learn everything you can about the various ingredients in pet foods and why they are used.
Beware of claims that can not be supported by scientific evidence, or that seem to go against common sense.
Stay tuned for new nutrition information and reports from reliable sources. Be informed about pet food is another way to help protect the health of your animal.
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