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Nutraceuticals for Dogs and Cats

What are nutraceuticals?

Nutraceuticals can be categorized as Dietary Supplements, functional Foods or Medicinal Foods. The founder and chairman of the Foundation of Innovation in Medicine, Dr. Stephen DeFelice, coined the term Nutraceuticals” in 1989 and defined it as “food, or part of food, that provides medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.”

Functional Foods are foods that provide the body with nutritional benefits that may reduce the risk of disease or promote optimal health.

Examples of functional  food and medicinal foods and why we use them:

  • Brown RiceHigh in fiber and a great source of manganese, brown rice also offers a source for selenium. Brown rice is rich in antioxidants, promotes weight loss, and helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Brown rice and white rice only share the name rice. Brown rice is very healthy for dogs, very rarely offering any allergic reaction.
  • Cilantro & Parsley – These guys are strong & powerful natural chelating agents, helping eliminate persistent heavy metals from dogs system. Yes they get heavy metal poison from the environment well.
  • Menhaden Fish – Menhaden Fish Oil is a natural, non-hydrogenated and structurally unaltered fish oil containing approximately 35% total omega-3 fatty acids with a balanced concentration of EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid). The health benefits of fish oil include its ability to aid in the treatment of various heart diseases, high cholesterol, depressionanxiety, weakened immune system, cancerdiabetes, inflammation, arthritis, IBD, eye disorders, macular degeneration and ulcers. It also helps aid weight loss, healthy pregnancy, fertility and skin care both in dogs and humans.
  • Green BeansGreen beans are a good source of plant fibre, vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese. general Vitamin K is an underappreciated nutrient that doesn’t receive enough attention. Giving Vitamin K1 for dogs has shown to improve their liver and blood health. Vitamin K2 showed positive effects on heart and bone-related diseases. There has been some suggestions that administration of Vitamin K2 supplements can help with different types of cancer.An observational study has found a link between Vitamin K2 and a 63% risk reduction in prostate cancer [42]. A few clinical trials suggest that Vitamin K2 can increase chance of survival and reduce recurrence of liver cancer [43, 44].
  • Sweet potatoes are another source of dietary fibre and contain vitamin B6, vitamin C, beta carotene, and manganese. Vitamin B6 is essential for the metabolism of amino acids. Amino acids are critical to proper growth. Deficiency of B vitamins can result in a reduction of nerve reflexes and nervous control, retarded growth, a loss of appetite, loose stools, poor coat, abnormalities of the eyes, and potentially heart failure. B-complex (in particular B2 and B6) is also essential for the prevention of bladder stone formation in dogs.
  • Yogurt – is a good source of available calcium and protein. When choosing yogurt, pick one that has live active bacteria and no sugars or artificial sweeteners. The active bacteria may act as probiotics.
  • Apples –Apples with the skin on are full of plant chemicals (phytonutrients) that are thought to be protective against some types of cancer in humans. They are a source of vitamins A and C and fibre.
  • Blueberries Powerful carotenoids, phytonutrients, and flavonoids natural antioxidants. Super food for eye care.
  • Carrots Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Super food for eye care.
  • Broccoli Beta-carotene  Broccoli is a great source of vitamins C &  K as well as fiber and folate. Feeding a dog portioned broccoli, and other greens makes a lot of sense. The cancer fighting antioxidants combined with anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory agents are absolutely outstanding. Broccoli also protects against harmful bacteria and viruses while boosting the immune system. It can even repair DNA in the cells which is indicative of powerful anti-aging propertiesSuper food for eye care.
  • Eggs – A main ingredient in rawlicious food. They are the most highly digestible protein. Massively nutritious Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. 
  • Oregano
  • A single large boiled egg contains (1):
    • Vitamin A:
    • Folate:
    • Vitamin B5:
    • Vitamin B12:
    • Vitamin B2:
    • Phosphorus:
    • Selenium:
    • Eggs also contain decent amounts of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc.
      Eggs are great for the eyes. Eggs are one of the foods that may prevent or slow the progress of macular degeneration. The reason for eggs’ eye health properties is their carotenoid content Lutein, sulfur, and cysteine. Specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources. Super Foods for Your Pet’s EyesPROTEIN AND AMINO ACIDS
      Eggs contain about 6.28 grams of protein, making them one of the best food sources of protein.

      One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, an important nutrient that helps to regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. The medicinal effects of choline are presumed to be caused by phosphatidylcholine. PC is a major part of the membranes surrounding our cells. When PC is eaten, it is broken down into choline rather than being carried directly to the cell membranes. Choline acts like another commonly used supplement, SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), to provide the methyl groups used by the body in a number of chemical reactions, including the detoxification pathways of the liver. It is also used to make acetylcholine and dopamine, nerve chemicals essential for normal brain function. Choline may also aid in brain and liver function by assisting with the absorption of carnitine from the digestive tract. Carnitine is essential for mitochondrial function, ensuring the liver and brain have an adequate supply of energy. A human study at Boston University School of Medicine found that people who ate a lot of eggs and chicken, both of which contain choline, had lower rates of dementia as they aged.

    • Dogs uses choline for a variety of functions that benefit not only the brain, but other systems as well. Most importantly for aging dogs, choline produces the major nerve transmitter, acetylcholine. It also helps the body maintain water balance. It is a source of methyl-groups for the formation of the amino acid methionine, and the conversion of the toxic compound homocysteine to methionine, possibly reducing cardiac disease. Choline helps control cell growth and gene expression.  It is a component of liquid surfactant to keep the lungs healthy.In both people and dogs, general uses for phosphatidylcholine include improving memory, treating high cholesterol, and protecting the liver from toxicity (without adequate phosphatidylcholine, fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver due to reduced low density lipoprotein levels). For dogs, choline may prevent fatty liver syndrome and support normal liver function, reduce insulin requirements in diabetics, and reduce seizure frequency, making it useful in the treatment of epilepsy. Regular choline supplementation may help prevent or treat canine cognitive disorder
      One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. The rest of the fat in eggs is heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. The fatty acids in eggs offer numerous health benefits, including an improvement in skin and coat health. Eggs can reduce flaky, dry skin and increase the shine in your dog’s coat.FOOD SOURCE OF VITAMIN D
      Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health, immunity, and much more.

      Eggs are a great food when you’re trying to lose weight. They are low in calories (about 80 calories per egg) and the protein they contain will keep you fuller longer. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that, when eggs were eaten for breakfast instead of bagels and total calories were limited each day, subjects experienced weight loss.

      Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

Popular nutraceuticals for pets

Every pet has his or her own special needs, and it’s hard to know which nutrients are helpful to pet health. Therefore, pet parents considering nutraceuticals may find it daunting to choose what may be right for their pet. Below is a list of popular nutraceuticals; however, we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian before giving to your pet.

Antioxidants: Although it may seem odd to give pets antioxidants, they are very beneficial for every pet because they help prevent and fight disease, and protect against harmful free radicals. Proanthozone, Marin for Dogs, Be Well for Dogs, Be Well for Cats and Super Pure Omega 3 all work to strengthen the immune system and improve organ function.

Whole Food Supplements: Many commercial pet foods may not contain the proper nutrients pets need. Adding a whole food supplement that is completely natural like Be Well for Dogs or Be Well for Cats, can replace nutrients and give your pet that extra pep in his or her step.