Friday, February 18, 2011

Antioxidants For Dogs, Too

You hear so much about antioxidants and the damage caused by "free radicals".

What about our pets?

Oxygen gives your pet life but it may also behave aggressively - and excess oxygen can ironically poison body cells. Uncontrolled free radicals may run amuck throughout your pet's body, doing considerable damage to cells. They alter the structure of cell membranes and create havoc to poly-unsaturated fats, cell proteins and cell DNA. The more active the cell, the greater the potential risk of tissue damage.

In people, this damage has recently been linked to degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease and cataracts; it may also have a deleterious affect on aging. In pets, it is thought that free-radical damage may play a similar role in certain diseases and wreak havoc on the aging process.

Antioxidants are important because they help minimize the damage caused by free radicals, protecting your pets from tissue damage and disease. In the process they may also enhance immunity.

Dietary antioxidants include vitamin E, vitamin C, taurine and the carotenoids - beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene and certain trace minerals. They help keep your pet's cells healthy, including lungs, heart, blood cells, muscles, nerves, GI tract and reproductive organs.

Some pet foods now contain these healthy antioxidants to help keep your dog healthy. Be sure to check labels to guarantee that your pet is getting its daily dose of antioxidants.

How about YOU?

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