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Pet Care: Powerful Antioxidants

October 3, 2011

One of the most common pet ailments we find nowadays is cancer, which we know is caused by excessive free radical damage. The best weapon to employ in maintaining a healthy body and fighting off free radicals is a diet that contains loads of antioxidants.

Antioxidants could also be called free radical neutralisers. They are molecules capable of slowing or preventing the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation reactions produce free radicals, which start chain reactions that damage cells. Antioxidants break these chain reactions.

What are free radicals and what damage do they cause?

When free radicals react with other chemicals in the body they interfere with the normal functioning of the cells. This contributes to the ageing process and has been linked to the development of serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Many free radicals occur naturally in the body. Free radicals are also formed following exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals and through metabolic processes such as the breakdown of fat stores for use as energy. Naturally occurring free radicals are generally easily controlled by the body and perform important functions such as producing vital hormones, activating important enzymes, and producing energy. The immune system produces free radicals that destroy viruses and bacteria.
Controlling free radicals.
While free radicals clearly have an important role to play, when excessive amounts are produced, damage to tissues and cells can result. A further negative is that free radicals stimulate the production of more free radicals. This snowball effect can result in further and more severe damage.
Free radicals are normally controlled by antioxidants, (free radical scavengers). Antioxidants can be obtained from the foods we eat and through supplementation.
Effective antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E, β-carotene, selenium and the hormone melatonin. Fresh fruit and vegetables are high in naturally occurring antioxidants as well as sprouted grains. That is why it is essential to include whole vegetables into your companion animals’ daily diet.
In the event that your beloved companion has been diagnosed with cancer or diabetes, you are welcome to contact me on advice on how to treat the condition, by administering a customised high meat protein diet that is enriched with a variety of vegetables.
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Vondi’s Holistic Pet Nutrition is a registered nutritional pet food that is natural, wholesome and free of preservatives. www.vondis.co.za
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