Ensuring your pet receives antioxidants may be one of the most important things you can do to help him or her live the longest, healthiest life possible.
Antioxidants help support healthy cells and tissues throughout your pet’s body. Certain antioxidants can even reach tucked-away places like the eyes, brain and spinal cord.
Studies show how antioxidants can make a difference in the health of dogs and cats. For example, a seven-year study of 90 cats aged seven to 17, fed an antioxidant-rich diet, revealed positive changes in their:
- Lean muscle mass and body weight.
- Skin thickness.
- Red cell quality.
- Overall quality of life.
- Life span.
It’s no different with dogs. Researchers have discovered that antioxidants are especially important for large breed dogs and may even impact their longevity.
The research is indeed exciting, but before we dive into it, ’s first take a look at how antioxidants work in your pet’s body.
How Antioxidants Help Protect Your Pet’s Body
One of the best ways to visualize how antioxidants work is to consider what happens when you slice up an apple. As you know, it doesn’t take long for the cut edges to turn brown.
That’s because of a process called oxidation. When you cut into the fruit, the knife severs the cells which releases an enzyme that reacts with the oxygen in the air. This leads to browning or discoloration.
However, if you mix lemon or orange juice with the apple slices immediately after you cut them, they don’t turn brown. This is because the natural antioxidants in the citrus halt the oxidation process.
Oxidation in your pet’s body is much the same. Normal bodily processes, such as metabolism, energy production, inflammation and detoxification, release free radicals – or unstable molecules – and can cause damage in the form of oxidative stress.
But that’s not all… things like stress, pollution, toxins, poor diet, excessive exercise, chemicals and pesticides release an extra load of free radicals. An excess of free radicals can damage cells and surrounding tissues, and even impact health and longevity.
Once oxidation starts, it can lead to a dangerous chain reaction that generates more and more free radicals. This may especially place stress on your pet’s immune function, as free radicals can impact communication between immune cells.
Free radicals are destructive by nature. They can hit cells 10,000 times a day, breaking down and weakening cell membranes, including cellular DNA.
Here’s why that’s such a problem… Cells depend on their DNA to tell them what to do and when to divide. If the cells become damaged, they can’t function properly.
Damage to the DNA in your pet’s cells may be one of the main causes of premature aging and the disruption of normal cell division and growth.
Antioxidants are powerful compounds that help the body fight these and other damaging effects of oxidation and keep cells healthy. They play a key role in longevity, too.
Why Do Small Dogs Live Longer Than Large Dogs?
It’s a fact that large dogs tend to age faster and live shorter lives than smaller dogs. For example, a 155-pound Great Dane has an average life span of about 7 years, while a 9-pound Toy Poodle can be expected to live about twice as long.
Why? To answer the question, researchers analyzed data from more than 56,000 dogs among 74 breeds.
The scientists found that large breeds do indeed age at faster rates and their risk of death increases with age at a greater speed.
Could oxidation and free radicals be one reason why?
A study at Colgate University looked at how free radicals and oxidative stress affect the aging process in dogs. Researchers collected about 80 tissue samples from large and small breed dogs of varying ages.
Once they isolated the cells, the researchers found significant differences between large and small breed dogs. They discovered some interesting findings, such as:
- Energy and free radical production in the adult dogs were the same for both large and small breeds.
- The amount of antioxidants in the cells was the same in large and small breed dogs.
- The cells from large breed puppies had excessive amounts of free radicals – and not enough antioxidants to neutralize them.
- Large breed dogs showed an increased production of pro-oxidants (substances that induce oxidative stress) and higher lipid peroxidation damage.
So, what does this all mean? I believe these findings provide a major take-home message, especially for all large breed puppies and dogs because…
Large breed puppies have faster metabolisms and growth rates than smaller breed puppies – hence more cell division and cell growth, as well as more free radicals. Damage to cells may start accumulating at a young age in larger dogs and have long-lasting effects.
When you add in the increased production of pro-oxidants found in large breed dogs, you have the perfect combination, unfortunately, for a decreased lifespan.
Here’s something to consider: Could dietary antioxidants help make a difference?
The Role of Antioxidants in Cellular Health
Antioxidants help protect your pet’s cells from free radical damage in three different ways:
- Neutralize free radical oxidants, making them less harmful
- Reduce oxidative stress in your pet’s body and help protect the fragile DNA in the cells
- Support cellular, tissue and organ health
Certain antioxidants can cross the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers, which allows them to easily enter areas, such as the brain, eyes and nervous system – regions not normally reached by most nutrients.
So, how does your pet get the antioxidants he needs? Dogs and cats get antioxidants two ways – by producing them within their bodies and through diet.
Your pet’s body can make its own supply of antioxidants to help guard against free radicals. This includes peroxidases, coenzyme Q-10, melatonin, alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione and more.
However, too many free radicals can overwhelm your pet’s own supply. When it’s under assault, your pet’s body just can’t keep up.
This particularly applies with puppies (as we just saw), older animals, animals with less-than-optimal health, or those under stress, eating a poor diet or exposed to chemicals and toxins.
Why Antioxidants Especially Matter for Aging Pets
No one likes to admit their pet is getting up there in years. After all, our pets leave us far too soon as it is.
As early as it may sound, cats and small dogs are considered “senior” at seven years of age. Larger breed dogs can be considered senior as early as five or six years.
Why does this matter? Once a dog or cat passes midlife, significant changes begin to happen in his or her body. These age-associated changes include:
- Increased vulnerability and damage to cells and organs.
- Changes in body condition and composition.
- Declining organ function, including cognitive health.
- Reduced immune status.
- Changes in metabolism and energy requirements.
We’ve seen how oxidative stress plays a major role in cellular aging and the development of age-related diseases.
Studies show that nutrition – especially antioxidants – can help delay changes or slow their progression. An antioxidant-rich diet has been shown to help dogs and cats once they pass middle age.
Unfortunately, commercially prepared pet food doesn’t supply the antioxidants your pet needs for vibrant health, no matter what they claim. Pet foods are formulated to sustain life, but do little to nourish animals the way nature intended.
Your pet’s body is designed to absorb nutrients from fresh, living foods. That’s why I recommend feeding dogs and even cats a fresh food diet.
I realize that may not be an option for everyone. That’s what makes supplemental antioxidants so potentially valuable…
Astaxanthin – The ‘King’ of Antioxidant Carotenoids
Of all the antioxidants that can nourish your pet, there’s one that stands out from the others – and it’s one that’s earned the title of “king.”
A while back, scientists discovered a class of natural pigments called carotenoids. Powerful health-supporting antioxidants, carotenoids give foods their vibrant color.
One carotenoid in particular has become the focus of a growing number of scientific studies. Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid found in nature primarily in marine organisms such as wild salmon, shrimp, crab, crayfish and microalgae.
Compared to other members of the carotenoid family, astaxanthin is tops when it comes to quenching, or eliminating, free radicals and other potentially harmful oxidants. It’s free radical scavenging power is…
- 550 times more powerful than vitamin E.
- 65 times more powerful than vitamin C.
- 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene.
- 5 times more powerful than lutein.
In fact, scientists believe astaxanthin is nature’s most potent antioxidant.
Astaxanthin’s powerful ability to eliminate free radicals and other oxidants helps it protect cells, organs and tissues from oxidative damage. It also excels at quenching the type of oxidation that occurs with sunlight, known as “singlet oxygen uptake.”
What Sets Astaxanthin Apart From Other Antioxidants?
Astaxanthin provides potential benefits for parts of the body not normally reached by most other antioxidants.
Unlike beta-carotenes and lycopene, astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain and blood-retinal barriers. This makes it readily available to support your pet’s brain, eyes, spinal cord and central nervous system.
Astaxanthin has other important qualities, too, that make it stand apart from other antioxidants. It…
- Protects the water- and fat-soluble parts of cells, both inside and outside the cell.
- Combines with the membrane tissue and becomes a “bridge to the cell membrane” to support the body’s removal of free radicals.
- Powerfully absorbs UVB light to help reduce DNA damage.
Most importantly, unlike other antioxidants that can only “tame” one free radical at a time, astaxanthin can neutralize more than 19 free radicals at once, including different types.
How Astaxanthin Supports Your Pet’s Entire Body
In addition to astaxanthin’s potential benefits for your pet’s eyes, brain and nervous system, studies suggest it offers far-reaching benefits for total body health, too.
When animals receive supplemental astaxanthin, they may benefit in these additional ways, too. Astaxanthin can help support:
- A healthy immune response.
- Cardiovascular health.
- Muscle and joint recovery after exercise.
- Mitochondrial function and cellular energy production.
- Comfortable and flexible movement.
Because of its high levels of beta-carotene, astaxanthin supports immune function in pets.
In one study with young domestic shorthaired cats, astaxanthin supplementation was found to be beneficial for modulating – or balancing – a healthy immune response, and had a positive influence on important immune cells.
A study with young Beagle dogs showed how astaxanthin can enhance immune response while supporting healthy DNA and a healthy, normal inflammatory response.
Almost every cell in your pet’s body contains mitochondria, which are the powerhouses that supply energy for the cell. Another Beagle study showed how astaxanthin supports healthy mitochondrial function and energy production – in both young and geriatric dogs.
5 Criteria for an Exceptional Astaxanthin Formula
Astaxanthin is one antioxidant that your pet cannot produce in his body.
The only way to obtain astaxanthin is to eat something in the food chain of the original source. Astaxanthin can be found in krill, salmon, shrimp and microalgae. The green microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis is considered the richest source.
Here’s what is so unique and powerful about this source…
The algae produce the molecules for their own survival. Astaxanthin serves as a “force field” to protect the algae from lack of nutrients or intense sunlight.
So, I recommend making sure any astaxanthin you buy for your pet (and yourself) meets these five criteria:
- It’s made from marine microalgae and not a fungal source.
- Is Certified Organic, if at all possible.
- The formula contains an oil or fatty acid to enhance absorption.
- The formula is packed in a hermetic capsule or innovative pump container to ensure freshness, and is guaranteed stable and effective by the manufacturer.
- It’s manufactured without the use of synthetic chemical solvents and preservatives, and contains no impurities and contaminants.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether a product meets these five criteria. If it’s not clearly stated on the website or packaging, assume that it doesn’t.
If you happen to find synthetic astaxanthin, avoid it at all costs – it is made from potentially harmful petrochemicals.
Introducing Organic Astaxanthin for Cats & Dogs
Because it is so challenging to find a quality product, I decided to create my own Organic Astaxanthin supplement for pets.
Organic Astaxanthin for Cats & Dogs:
- Is made with Certified Organic Astaxanthin from microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis and not fungi.
- Contains Organic Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) and Organic Olive Oil to enhance absorption.
- Is formulated without the use of chemical solvents, preservatives, impurities or residues.
- Is carefully monitored and analyzed during production to ensure quality and a high concentration of astaxanthin isomers.
- Comes in an airless pump, which has a sealed gusset inside that provides an excellent oxygen and moisture barrier to protect the product from oxidation.
The MCTs in Organic Astaxanthin are purely a bonus. They provide an immediate source of fuel and energy for your pet, and they promote optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients.
MCTs are also known for their ability to increase athletic performance and may even help your pet maintain her ideal weight.
The Perfect Dose, Every Time
What people love most about Organic Astaxanthin is that they don’t have to slice open oily capsules.
And because Organic Astaxanthin has no taste, it’s ideal for all cats and dogs, including finicky pets.
To provide your pet with the perfect-sized dose, we use a stay-fresh airless pump for easy dispensing. Its advanced technology helps preserve the fragile oils from oxygen intrusion and keeps the product fresh to the last drop.
Each pump provides 1 mg of Astaxanthin, so you’re in control of the dose. We recommend the following dosing schedule, given one or two times a day, for cats, puppies and dogs, according to weight:
- Cats and Toy Breed Dogs (up to 14 lbs.) – 1 pump
- Small Breed Dogs (15-29 lbs.) – 2 pumps
- Medium Breed Dogs (30-49 lbs.) – 3 pumps
- Large Breed Dogs (50-79 lbs.) – 4 pumps
- Giant Breed Dogs (80+ lbs.) – 5 pumps
Isn’t it time you gave your pet a helping hand in eliminating unwanted free radicals and helping him live a long, healthy life?
Order Organic Astaxanthin today, and know you’re making a positive step towards your cat’s or dog’s healthy future.