What are Antioxidants … and why does your pet need them?
Antioxidants are the vitamins, minerals, enzymes or other chemical compounds that give up an electron to stop oxidation. They play a key role in neutralizing the estimated 10,000 “oxidative hits" each cell suffers a day. In other words, antioxidants are able to destroy free radicals in body cells before they can attack DNA or cause lipids to oxidize.
Research has found that dogs and cats that are given antioxidant supplements—such as vitamins A, C and E, selenium and alpha lipoic acid—have a stronger immune system and are able to fight disease and infection more easily than animals who eat a highly processed diet deficient in these nutrients.
Here are some important antioxidants and the role they play in fighting disease:
- Vitamin A is essential for supporting healthy eyesight, maintaining healthy skin and mucous membrane, protecting the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat and lungs, thereby reducing susceptibility to infections.
- A deficiency of vitamin A may result in night blindness; increased susceptibility to infections; rough, dry, scaly skin; loss of smell and appetite; fatigue; lack of eye-tearing; and defective teeth and retarded gum growth.
- Vitamin A is especially beneficial to aging animals, and those suffering from respiratory problems (asthma, bronchitis), and atopic dermatitis.
- Mixed Carotenoids contain antioxidants found in carotenoid-rich foods.. Carotenoids have also been shown to enhance immune system function, and inhibit the development of certain types of cancers.
- Two carotenoids, Lutein and zeaxanthin, provide antioxidant protection in the macular region of the eye and reduce the incidence of cataracts.
- A deficiency of carotenoids may result in vision problems, especially cataracts.
- Vitamin C is a protective vitamin essential to over-all body health. It helps in the production of collagen, and maintaining healthy skin; promotes the healing of wounds, scar tissue, fractures; strengthens blood vessels; supports the thymus gland and enhances T-cell production, increasing resistance to viral and bacterial infections, and some allergies.
- A deficiency of vitamin C may result in bleeding gums, swollen or painful joints, slow healing of wounds and fractures, the tendency to bruise or bleed in any part of the body, and scurvy.
- Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol) is a major antioxidant nutrient that helps to protect red blood cells, vitamin A and unsaturated fatty acids from oxidation damage. Vitamin E also supplies oxygen to the blood, which is then carried to the heart and other organs, thus alleviating fatigue.
- A deficiency of vitamin E may lead to a rupture of red blood cells, loss of reproductive powers, abnormal fat deposits in muscles, degenerative changes in the changes in the heart and other muscles; and dry skin.
- Selenium is a mineral and a major antioxidant nutrient that protects cell membranes and preserves tissue elasticity.
- A deficiency of selenium may result in premature aging, heart disease, dry, flaky skin and sagging skin.
- Selenium is especially beneficial to animals being treated with corticosteroids, which are known to deplete selenium. Selenium is also beneficial to animals suffering from cancer (and as a cancer preventative) and to those diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Grape seed extract have a high content of compounds called oligomeric proanthocyanidins— better known as OPCs, which are potent antioxidants. Grape seed extract supports healthy skin; improves blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries, and veins; reduces risk of cataracts; protects against cancer and provides cardiovascular support.
- While the flesh of a grape has been associated with renal failure, the seed (and extract) are considered safe for pets. See the Safety of Grape Seed Extract.
- Milk Thistle Extract is the favorite herbal liver protector. More than 150 clinical studies have shown that milk thistle has a beneficial effect on the liver in humans and in animals. It helps to promote the flow of bile, which helps emulsify fats; protects the outer membrane of liver cells, and regenerates damaged liver cells.
- Milk thistle extract is especially beneficial to animals with liver disease or damage, and to all animals as a protectant against environmental chemicals and pollutants.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) is often called the "universal antioxidant" because unlike most other antioxidants—vitamin C for instance, which works only in water, and vitamin E, which works only in fat—ALA, works in both water and fatty tissues. Thus, ALA can provide antioxidant protection to all your pet's cells and parts of its body, including the brain.
Unlike people who—hopefully—eat a diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, most dogs and cats eat commercial pet food containing a minimal amount of antioxidants. Whether your dog or cat is healthy or fighting a disease, an antioxidant supplement can provide immune support, protect it from environmental toxins, and may even help prolong its life.
Learn more about the benefits of antioxidants can have on your dog or cat by visiting the antioxidant section.
Antioxidants for Pets:
Cell Advance 440 (for cats and small dogs)
Cell Advance 880 (for dogs)
Small Animal Antioxidant (Thorne Research's New Antioxidant Formula for Pets)
CurcuVET-SA50 (Curcumin supplement for dogs & cats)
CurcuVET-SA50 (Curcumin supplement for large dogs)
Small Animal Antioxidant
Thorne Research has updated their Small Animal Antioxidant formulas to include:
- Potent plant-based antioxidants – curcumin, grape seed extract, broccoli seed extract, resveratrol, milk thistle, hesperidin, quercetin, and carrot
- Amino acids to enhance glutathione levels – NAC, glycine, glutamic acid, and glutathione itself
- Antioxidants that are powerful free-radical scavengers – ascorbic acid and d-alpha tocopheryl
To purchase or read
more about Small Animal Antioxidant...
Cell Advance 440 (for cats and small dogs)
Cell Advance 440 is recommended to help support the immune system and can be beneficial for dogs and cats with allergies, respiratory problems, skin disorders and many conditions associated with aging.
To purchase or read more about Cell Advance 440...
Cell Advance 880 (for medium to large dogs)
Cell Advance 880 is recommended to help support the immune system and can be beneficial for dogs with allergies, respiratory problems, skin disorders and many conditions associated with aging.
To purchase or read more about Cell Advance 880...
CurcuVET-SA (Curcumin Supplement for Dogs and Cats)
CurcuVET provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support for dogs and cats. Inflammation can lead to arthritis (inflammation of the joints), IBD (inflammation of the intestinal tract) and other chronic health conditions. CurcuVET helps to reduce pain and inflammation.
Available in two sizes - CurcuVET-SA50 for dogs and cats, CurcuVET-SA150 for dogs over 75 lbs.