Dogs that exercise need to consume more antioxidants for optimum health, but which diet formulations are the best?
(Natural News) Dogs are generally active creatures, which means their energy and strength get easily depleted. Good thing researchers found that additional antioxidants on dog diets can help them fight free radicals and avoid too much oxidative stress.
To find out whether consuming more antioxidants has a positive effect on dogs, a team of researchers from the University of Illinois, visited American Foxhounds, a kennel located in Alabama, U.S. They took blood samples of the dogs to check the oxidative stress markers and other blood metabolites.
The dogs were then divided into two groups where one was provided with a high-performance commercial diet while the other was given a test diet combined with additional antioxidants – vitamins C and E, and lutein – zinc, and taurine. The experiment was done in seven months; the animals were sent into a two- to five-hour hunting trips two or three times a week.
One of the study authors, Kelly Swanson, said, “We think of it as unstructured endurance exercise. They’re not running the entire time. They might stop to sniff or go more slowly to pick up a scent.”
Following the study, Swanson and the team found that there is a lower concentration of oxidative stress among dogs who were given the test diet. Moreover, they showed improvement in their performances compared to the group fed with a commercial diet.
“It turns out, performance wasn’t affected by diet, but the test diet did improve indirect measures of oxidative stress. Therefore, improved performance may be expected with more strenuous exercise when metabolic demands are higher,” she added.
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The level of taurine in the bodies of the canines fed with commercial diet significantly dropped after going through a strenuous activity. The same thing happened to their levels of vitamin E. Almost all the dogs from the first group tested normal in terms of metabolites during check-ups, except for one who came close to a critically low level of taurine.
Meanwhile, both levels of taurine and vitamin E were maintained either at or above the baseline for the dogs belonging to the second group. The researchers concluded that the amount of these antioxidants are greatly affected when active dogs undergo unstructured exercise.
The study concludes that “athletic dogs may benefit from supplementation of vitamin E and taurine to minimize oxidation and maintain taurine status.”
Other antioxidants for dogs
Just like humans, dogs need copious amounts of vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy. More than just the regular dog food and treats that they receive, it’s better to give them extra boosts of antioxidants for optimum health.
Here are some antioxidants good for man’s best friend:
- Astaxanthin – Good for joint health, immune system, brain, eyes, and heart.
- Colostrum – Good for the immune system, allergies, joints, digestive system, and is anti-cancer and great at wound-healing.
- Green-lipped mussels – Good source of omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants such as vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes.
- Eggshell membrane – Scientifically proven beneficial to the joints as it contains compounds like glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, chondroitin, and collagen.
- Phytoplankton – Helps protect cells and remove toxins from the system. It is also good for the immune and digestive systems, manages skin issues and allergies, and supports the liver.
- Larch arabinogalactan – Like the colostrum, it is great for boosting the immune and digestive systems, and aids in wound-healing.
- Green tea – As long as only decaffeinated green tea is provided, dogs can benefit from this antioxidant since it has anti-inflammatory properties. It is also good for brain health and prevention of cancer.
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