A new study is shining some bright light on the significance of nutrition in our cats lives – specifically highlighting the benefits of antioxidants. This study demonstrates the impact these power elements have to prevent (or greatly diminish) illness and disease while vastly improve the quality and longevity of cats lives.
How the Benefits of Antioxidants were Studied
To give this study some perspective, here are the basics: 88 cats (between the ages of 12-17) were evaluated for seven years. All cats were fed a base diet of commercial ‘nutritionally complete’ cat food (likely a highly processed, dry food). The cats were separated into 3 focus groups. One group was only fed the commercial food. Group two was fed the base diet plus antioxidant supplements. Group three also ate the base diet, and was provided with antioxidants plus a natural prebiotic (chico-ry root) and a blend of healthy fatty acids (n-3 and n-6).
Here, I would like to add a few sides notes: The researchers in this study all work for Nestle Purina. Purina (owned by Nestle) is a brand that I could never (in good conscience) recommend to any cat parent. However, I am encouraged that this widely popular (and profitable) company is taking notice of the importance of nutrition. I am also hopeful they will one day implement these findings into their brand. My second side note is this: Given the incredible results demonstrated by the cats given supplements (while eating a base diet of commercial kibble), imagine the additional improvements that would be experienced if the cats were instead given a base diet of a high quality, high protein, grain free wet food. It’s pretty exciting if you ask me.
Life Changing Results
Though I’ve already let the cat out of the bag regarding the benefits of antioxidants, let’s get specific. In short, a cat given antioxidants and healthy supplements are predicted to live 4-6 years longer than cats without these dietary benefits. It’s also important to note that the quality and longevity of life are improved the earlier you start healthy supplements.
Aging is inevitable – for all of us – and this study helps explain how that translates to health. “Aging is associated with changes in body condition, body composition, energy requirements, declining organ function and immune status, and other metabolic changes. Nutrition may play an important role in delaying such changes or preventing their progression.” It continues, “While multiple environmental and genetic factors may be involved, there is considerable evidence that oxidative stress plays a major role in aging and may explain the pathogenesis (development) of many age-related diseases.” These diseases include “inflammatory conditions, renal disease, cancer, and disorders of intestinal function in the aging cat, as well as observed physical changes, such as a deterioration in skin and coat condition”
Enter, the benefits of antioxidants!
I don’t know about you, but I am thrilled to see a mainstream study confirming and affirming what holistic veterinarians and nutritional experts have been saying for years – just because it means that this helpful information will reach more concerned cat parents than ever before. The result will be an uncountable number of beloved felines living longer, happier, healthier lives!
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