All about antioxidants for pets!
By Sherry L. Granader.
All about antioxidants for pets: There are certain vitamins and minerals that help the body reduce the effects of oxidation in our pets. Oxidation is basically the ‘rusting’ that occurs within the body producing by-products or free radicals. These free radicals accumulate in the cells and surrounding tissues producing additional chemicals called antioxidants that fight
these oxidizing chemicals.
In disease or illness, excess oxidation can occur and affect the body’s normal ability to create antioxidants making the body overwhelmed, so to speak. Supplying antioxidants for your pet can help by neutralizing the harmful by-products of cellular oxidation. There are several antioxidants that can be used to supplement our pets. They include Vitamins A, C, and E as well as minerals such as manganese, zinc and selenium. Other antioxidants include CoEnzymeQ10, Gingko Biloba, bilberry, grape seed extract and pcynogenols or bioflavonoids. Here is a list of antioxidants and their uses for pets:
Pycnogenols or bioflavonoids are plant-based compounds found in plants that both humans and pets need for optimal health and vitality. These compounds are used for their antioxidant effects against fat oxidation and can offer the same results as aspirin and other non-steroidal medications. They can help reduce inflammation and reduce allergic reactions, decreasing histamine release by inhibiting several enzymes. In a nutshell, they help prime the immune system for battle against inflammation throughout the body.
Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant that is beneficial for people dealing with arthritis and comes from the bark of pine trees native to southern France. It helps reduce inflammation in pets too by enhancing the effects of other antioxidants like Vitamin C. Many report seeing their pets feeling better with more energy after taking pycnogenol.
Quercetin is a natural antioxidant found in onions, red wine, grapefruit, apples, black tea, leafy greens and beans. It protects the cells from damage by free radicals and helps stabilize collagen in blood vessels. It has been shown to prevent the immune cells from releasing histamine, the chemical that triggers itching, sneezing, swelling and other allergic reactions. It is highly recommended by holistic healthcare practitioners for people to treat the symptoms of asthma and allergies. It can also block other substances involved with allergies and help protect against strokes and heart attacks in people. Though more research needs to be completed with pets, it does show promise with a special form called quercetin chalcone that is better absorbed by the body.
Variety Of Conditions
Antioxidants can be used for a variety of conditions, however they should not be used without a holistic healthcare practitioner or veterinarian supervision. The actual dosage for each antioxidant depends on the specific product, your pet’s weight, again and disease or illness condition. Most bioflavonoid complex supplements are anywhere from 200 -1,500 mg per day divided into 2-3 doses. Depending on your pet’s health and condition, ask your veterinarian or holistic healthcare practitioner for their recommendations.
Photo: Courtesy K. Kendall via Flickr (CC by 2.0)