In the classic American tale, The Wizard of Oz, a girl named Dorothy is transported to an imaginary world where she meets a series of unusual characters.
During her trip down the Yellow Brick Road with her little dog, Toto, she meets three friends – the Scarecrow, the Lion and the Tin Man.
When Dorothy first sees the Tin Man, she thinks he’s a statue, standing with his axe poised in the air about to chop wood. As it turns out, he was in the grip of an enemy that had held him hostage for an entire year, unable to move.
The Tin Man had gone out to chop wood one day and gotten caught in the rain. He rusted right on the spot and couldn’t speak or move until Dorothy found his oil can and lubed up his joints.
The force that kept the Tin Man from moving was oxidation.
Rust is the ultimate visible example of oxidation. It takes something smooth and shiny – a metal containing iron – and breaks it down into rough flakes of orange brown that prevent the metal from performing as it should.
As a veterinarian and a pet owner, I see this same process at work in my patients’ bodies all the time. Of course, they don’t rust.
But oxidation in their cells causes their organs and normal healthy body processes to break down and lose the ability to perform as they should. It makes dogs and cats get sick more frequently or slow down too early in life.
The good news is that there’s a way to combat oxidation and safeguard your ’s health from early deterioration. Nature designed it, and you can use it to provide daily protection for your dog or cat.
Daily Mistakes Pet Parents Make That Can Speed Up the Rate of Their Pet’s Cellular Aging
Many of the pet parents I talk to are startled to learn that they may be causing their pet to age faster. Without know it, they’re speeding up their pet’s rate of aging on the cellular level, impacting both overall health and longevity.
After getting this news, they’re relieved to learn that there are proactive steps they can take to help slow that rate down if it’s excessive.
The two biggest factors that influence your pet’s rate of cellular aging are diet and environment.
What your pet eats and what he is exposed to in his daily life have a major impact on your pet’s rate of cellular aging. When you take the time to pay attention to these things, you can help increase your pet’s prospects for good health.
There are several factors that are known to increase the rate of cellular aging in cats and dogs:
- Eating a commercially prepared, processed diet
- Obesity and sedentary lifestyle
- Drinking chlorinated or fluoridated water
- Exposure to toxins in the environment, indoors and outside
- Excessive vaccinations
Some of these factors may be totally out of your control. However, there are a few simple things anyone can do to make a significant impact on their pet’s health and vitality…
7 Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect Your Pet Against Excessive Cellular Aging
As a pet parent, your dog or cat relies on you for everything she needs. The decisions you make affect her health, vitality and overall happiness.
The good news is that you have the power to help protect your pet from some of the potentially negative effects of environmental stress and aging.
Here are seven simple – but highly effective – steps you can take to help shield your pet from the oxidizing free radicals that speed up cellular aging:
- Make sure your pet gets enough antioxidants in her diet.
- Help your pet stay active and maintain an ideal body weight throughout her life.
- Supply drinking water that’s been filtered through a high quality water purifier.
- Use an effective air purifier in your home to reduce airborne toxins.
- Avoid toxic home furnishings, synthetic air fresheners, and harsh chemical-laden cleaners.
- Minimize unnecessary vaccinations (request antibody titer tests to determine your pet’s true need.)
- Avoid shampoos and treatments such as flea and tick products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients and harsh chemicals.
The Mercola Whole Home Air Purifier is an easy and effective way to reduce airborne toxins throughout your home, for both you and your pets.
Keep in mind that the environmental toxic load on your pet’s body is much greater than yours, for several reasons. He’s smaller in size, he doesn’t take daily showers, and his body is in direct contact with toxins on the ground outdoors and in your home.
Plus, your pet likely ingests more toxins in the food he eats, especially if he is eating a commercially prepared processed diet.
Of the seven steps I outlined above, getting enough antioxidants may be the most important thing you can do to protect your pet.
Antioxidants are designed by nature to neutralize the threats that enter your pet’s body every day. Here’s how they do it…
The Wonder of Antioxidants – How They Help Protect Your Pet From Damaging Free Radicals
Free radicals are unstable molecules that travel throughout your pet’s body, searching for electrons to steal from stable molecules.
When they succeed, they generate new unstable molecules – and create more free radicals.
This exchange of electrons between unstable molecules is known as oxidation. When it’s not kept in check, it creates oxidative stress on your pet’s body.
Free radicals can alter how genes express themselves, and not in a good way. When they cause damage to cell membranes, it leads to oxidative stress and inflammation, which contributes to cellular aging.
Stress, pollution, poor diet and all the other factors that speed up the rate of cellular aging produce free radicals.
But so do all the normal cellular and metabolic activities inside your pet’s body…
The best thing you can do for him is help reduce the quantity of unnecessary free radicals in his body, so he can easily handle the free radicals produced by normal healthy body processes.
Antioxidants play a significant role in controlling the effects of free radicals. They help gobble up and neutralize free radicals in your pet’s body before they can damage healthy cells and tissues in your pet’s brain, heart and other organs.
Pound for pound compared to a human, your pet’s body needs more antioxidants to help combat all the everyday dietary and environmental stressors in his life as well as to slow down the effects of excessive cellular aging.
How Antioxidants Boost Cellular Health and Longevity, and Protect Your Pet’s Quality of Life
Decades of research have shown that antioxidants play a key role in maintaining good health.
By providing protection against free radical damage, they help keep your pet’s cells operating in top condition, which means your pet can stay healthy and active.
Studies have uncovered evidence that antioxidants provide cellular support for the brain, heart, muscles, skin, eyes, liver, kidneys and other organs. Overall, the higher the level of antioxidants in an animal’s bloodstream, the more health benefits they experience.
Here are the findings of just a few of the studies that highlight the advantages of antioxidant-rich diets in both dogs and cats:
- In a seven-year study of 90 cats aged seven to 17, the cats who ate an antioxidant-rich diet showed better maintenance of lean muscle mass, improved body weight, skin thickness and red cell quality, significantly longer life spans and improvement in quality of life.
- A group of adult dogs fed an antioxidant blend showed higher levels of circulating antioxidants, a decrease in cellular DNA oxidation, and optimal immunological performance.
- A group of adult beagles had higher antioxidant blood levels when they were fed a mixture of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.
- A study of 62 Alaskan sled dogs confirmed that dietary supplementation with antioxidants resulted in higher blood levels of antioxidants and decreased DNA oxidation, as well as increased resistance of lipoproteins to oxidation.
And it’s not just middle age or older pets who can benefit from antioxidant supplementation…
Your Younger Pet May Also Need More Antioxidants
While free radical damage becomes a bigger concern as your pet ages, it can affect younger animals as well.
One study found that smaller dogs appear to age more slowly than large ones. Wanting to understand why, the researchers took a closer look at how free radicals and oxidative stress influence the aging process.
Through veterinarians, they collected about 80 tissue samples from both large and small breeds of varying ages. Analyzing the samples, they found some alarming differences.
The energy and free radical production, along with the amount of antioxidants, in the cells of the adult dogs was the same for both large and small breeds.
However, the cells from large breed puppies had high amounts of free radicals. And these levels far outstripped the antioxidants’ ability to neutralize them.
Large breed puppies have faster metabolisms and growth rates than smaller breeds. The researchers surmised that this increased metabolic activity results in more free radical production and that cellular damage starts accumulating at a young age in larger dogs.
Needless to say, this type of early cell damage can have long-lasting and serious effects on the well-being of your larger breed dog.
In light of this important study, I recommend supplemental antioxidants for my large and giant breed patients to help neutralize free radicals before they can do damage, and to potentially extend these pets’ longevity.
Don’t Count on Commercial Diets For the High Quality Antioxidants That Support Your Pet’s Health and Longevity
Most commercially prepared pet foods do make an effort to include a few antioxidants in their formulas.
The processed food producers add antioxidants to their products to help keep food fresh and to help protect fats and fat-soluble vitamins, like A and E, from oxidation.
But the quality of those antioxidants can leave much to be desired.
While food producers sometimes use natural antioxidants, most processed commercial foods contain synthetic and potentially toxic antioxidants, such as ethoxyquin, BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole).
Manufacturers claim synthetic antioxidants keep food ingredients fresher longer and provide a longer shelf life than “natural” antioxidants, like tocopherol, or vitamin E; ascorbic acid, or vitamin C; citric acid and rosemary.
But synthetic antioxidants, and even many so-called “natural” antioxidants, do not typically come from plants and fruit – the best sources.
Most of the synthetic antioxidants used in commercial pet foods are laboratory-made in China.
In addition to no long-term studies on the systemic effects of these imported ingredients, there are other concerning issues pet owners should be aware of. GMOs are often used to produce vitamin E, and potentially toxic glyphosate residues are not measured or evaluated.
And there’s another problem with antioxidants in processed foods…
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), who sets the standards for nutritionally complete and balanced pet foods, doesn’t recognize a “senior” category. The industry standard considers all dogs over the age of one as a single category.
This leaves older dogs at a disadvantage.
We know that once an animal hits mid-life (around six years old), he needs more antioxidants, much like middle-aged humans require more antioxidants to counteract the effects of cellular aging.
In addition to their use of low-quality ingredients, the pet food industry just doesn’t formulate their products to provide the increased levels of antioxidants that older pets need.
Introducing My Complete Antioxidants for Extra Free Radical-Scavenging Support, Made from Whole-Food Sources
I’m well aware that over 90% of pet parents, for various reasons, are not able to feed their pets a homemade diet made from fresh, whole foods naturally high in antioxidants.
For that reason, I wanted to develop a more complete antioxidant product that would help meet the increased antioxidant needs of a variety of pets, including those who:
- Eat a commercially prepared processed diet.
- Have reached middle age and need more antioxidants to combat cellular aging.
- May be genetically disposed to age faster, such as large and giant breed dogs and puppies.
- Live in a toxic environment (that covers just about all pets).
- Have increased antioxidant needs because of a stressful lifestyle or exposure to various stressors, such as excessive vaccinations or flea treatments.
- Live active, working lives, such as service dogs.
I wanted this antioxidant supplement to be made exclusively from plants and fruits, not synthetic sources, like other products on the market.
Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs provides high-quality antioxidant support from a unique formulation of four of the very best antioxidants available today, all sourced from whole plants and fruits.
A Potent Source of Antioxidant Vitamin C for Your Pet: Acerola Cherries
Acerola cherries grow on shrubs native to the Antilles islands in the Caribbean Sea. They’re known by many names, including Barbados Cherries, West-Indian Cherry, Puerto Rican Cherry and Amazon Cherry.
No matter what you call it, the acerola cherry is a unique superfood, boasting many impressive qualities, including:
- High levels of antioxidants compared to other antioxidant-rich Amazonian fruits.
- The highest content of antioxidant vitamin C of any fruit or berry – more than 30 times the vitamin C found in oranges.
- Plentiful polyphenolic anthocyanins, including chlorogenic acid, tannins and quercetin – all flavonoids rich in antioxidant activity.
- Chlorogenic acid to support healthy blood sugar levels
Antioxidant vitamin C works together with the potent phytochemicals in acerola to provide powerful free radical scavenging support for your dog or cat.
I like to use acerola with my pet patients because it’s the best natural source of antioxidant vitamin C ever discovered. It also offers high bioavailability, so it’s easily absorbed by your pet’s digestive system.
Our Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs contains 250 mg of Acerola fruit extract per scoop. This powerful punch of antioxidants helps your pet’s body clear out harmful free radicals to help keep his cells strong and healthy.
The French Paradox that Sparked Appreciation For Japanese Knotweed
Ever heard of the “French Paradox?” It was a theory developed in the 1990s by scientists who noticed that the French people ate high amounts of saturated fat but maintained low rates of heart disease.
Trying to figure out why, they zeroed in on French consumption of red wine.
The French, they noticed, consumed more red wine than people of other nationalities who ate the same amounts of saturated fats. They concluded that red wine has protective qualities.
While the theory has attracted many strong criticisms over the past few decades and many scientists now advocate other explanations, the initial studies from the 1990s sparked widespread interest in a valuable antioxidant – resveratrol.
Discovered in 1939, resveratrol started getting widespread attention only after the French Paradox theory got popular. It is a naturally occurring compound found in grapes, certain berries and a plant called Japanese knotweed.
Japanese knotweed has long been used in China and Japan as a traditional herbal remedy, and I’ve been using Japanese knotweed in my veterinary patients for over 20 years.
I believe it to be one of the most potent, wide-spectrum antioxidants available today. It’s terrific for slowing down age-related changes and for supporting cell health.
What I find most interesting about resveratrol is how it helps protect the plants it’s found in.
The antioxidant activity of resveratrol protects plants against everyday stressors, such as injury, excessive UV radiation, drastic climate changes and infectious agents. In essence, it helps increase the hardiness and life span of the plants.
In animals, resveratrol helps combat damaging free radicals throughout the body through the action of antioxidant polyphenols. Because it’s one of the rare antioxidants that can cross the blood-brain barrier, it may help subdue damaging free radicals in your pet’s brain, too.
The resveratrol in Japanese knotweed has been shown in animal studies to:
- Help protect brain and nervous system health.
- Promote optimal brain blood flow.
- Support learning and memory.
- Support mitochondrial and metabolic health, and promote the creation of new mitochondria in the cells.
- Promote heathy cell growth and division.
I have seen many of my patients who need extra antioxidant support respond very well when they take this. The Japanese knotweed extract in my formula is standardized to provide 25 mg of resveratrol per scoop.
Red Raspberries – A Wealth of Phytonutrients and Antioxidants to Help Protect Your Pet
Everyone is familiar with raspberries, but did you know they provide a wealth of valuable health benefits?
Raspberries are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free radicals and support a healthy inflammatory response, in both people and pets.
Some of the special compounds contained in these juicy little berries include:
- Anthocyanins – Responsible for about 25% of raspberries’ antioxidant power, these polyphenols also give raspberries their bright red color
- Ellagitannins – Found in only a handful of plants, these compounds promote healthy cell signaling, decrease measures of inflammation and increase antioxidant enzyme production.
- Phenolic flavonoids – These powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, catechins, salicylic acid and cyanidins, may contribute to healthy metabolism, healthy inflammatory response and cardiovascular health.
Raspberries are also loaded with vitamin C, earning one of the highest oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) values of any fruit. ORAC was developed to measure the antioxidant potential of foods, and raspberries sit high on the list.
This is the reason I like to use raspberries as treats for dogs and cats – they’re not only tasty, their high antioxidant potential can help protect your pet’s body against damaging free radicals.
Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs contains 200 mg of Red Raspberry Fruit Powder per scoop.
Decaffeinated Green Tea – A Health Tonic for You, and Ditto for Your Pet
If you like to pay attention to the latest natural health news, you’ve most likely heard about all the exciting potential health benefits of green tea.
Research has shown that green tea can also benefit your pet’s health.
Green tea contains an ingredient called epigallocatechin-3 gallate, or EGCG, a polyphenol with potent antioxidant properties.
EGCG is a catechin, a type of flavonoid that has been shown in animal studies to offer significant protective benefits for cells, tissues, and organs.
In studies, catechins have been shown to promote healthy inflammatory response and healthy cognitive function. Researchers have also found that they help protect the normal healthy life cycle of cells.
One study done with dogs showed that nutritional doses of green tea extract may improve insulin sensitivity and support a healthy lipid profile. And it may also positively affect the expression of genes involved in glucose and lipid homeostasis.
I’ve used decaffeinated green tea extract extensively as a stand-alone product in my practice for years. My patients have responded well, with improved health and vitality.
Now I’m delighted to announce that it’s part of my Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs, and has been standardized to provide 60 mg of polyphenols per scoop.
Combined together in this exclusive formula, acerola cherry, Japanese knotweed, raspberry and green tea form a superstar janitorial team for your pet’s cells, cleaning out free radicals to help her live a vibrant, healthy life.
Customize Your Pet’s Support – Perfect for Pairing With Other Healthy Pet Supplements
Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs is perfect for combining with my other Healthy Pets products for customized, synergistic support.
For example, try combining Antioxidants with:
- Ubiquinol for extra heart support for pets like King Charles Cavalier Spaniels
- Bladder Support for cats to promote healthy and comfortable urinary tract function
- Astaxanthin for total antioxidant support for any animal
There are many different types of antioxidants. Each one performs a different function in your pet’s body to support the many body processes that underlie good health.
For example, while Antioxidants is a great source of the antioxidant vitamin C, it doesn’t contain beta carotene, another stellar antioxidant found in Astaxanthin.
Take a look at my other outstanding products, like SpiruGreen, Astaxanthin, Ubiquinol, and Bladder Support, and try mixing and matching Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs to create customized support for your pet.
Order Antioxidants for Pets… and Help Protect Your Pet’s Health from Early Deterioration
Your pet relies on you to provide what she needs to thrive. Help protect her health by boosting her antioxidant intake with Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs.
I recommend this powerful synergistic formula for any pet, but especially those who fall into one or more of the following categories. If your pet lands in more than one group, her need for extra antioxidants is even higher:
- Eats a commercially prepared processed diet
- Has reached middle age and need more antioxidants to combat cellular aging
- May be genetically disposed to age faster, such as large and giant breed dogs and puppies
- Lives in a toxic environment (that covers just about all pets)
- Has increased antioxidant needs because of a stressful lifestyle or exposure to various stressors, such as excessive vaccinations or flea treatments
- Lives active, working lives, such as service dogs
Like the Tin Man in the story, your pet needs protection from the damaging oxidation caused by the free radicals in her environment.
By providing her with the antioxidants she needs, you can proactively help protect her cells, tissues and organs from oxidative stress and damage.
Give your pet the free radical-fighting power she needs to enjoy a long healthy life of active companionship, and order Antioxidants for Cats & Dogs today.