Potent Health Benefits for Your Dog
Phytonutrients are the antioxidants that are naturally used by plants to protect themselves against free radicals. Studies show that dogs (and their owners!) who eat sources of phytochemicals also benefit from the antioxidant properties of the plant through a regulation of highly damaging oxidative stress and overall improvement of physical and mental health. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
These substances that can slow down the aging process, prevent premature aging, and increase life expectancy, are known as geroprotectors (10). Natural antioxidants such as flavonoids have been observed as efficient geroprotectors and lifespan extending compounds through down-regulating the progression of degenerative diseases (11), and are also called lifespan-essential ingredients (12).
Research on impacts phytonutrients from plant-based foods have for both humans and dogs has accelerated as increasing evidence emerges of the significant benefits they have on health and longevity. (13, 14, 15)
Phytochemicals are broken down into the following categories:
- Allyl Sulfides
Dietary fibres are a group of carbohydrates that cannot be directly used for energy by mammals due to a lack of digestive enzymes to break down structural linkages. Their impacts on the health status of dogs are widely known (1), in particular their influence on body condition, gastrointestinal (GI) health and immune parameters.
Carotenoids, including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene, are vitamin A precursors that act as antioxidants and may counteract oxidative damage to the body, which plays a role in the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Beta-carotene has received attention for its possible role in the prevention of several chronic diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Although alpha-carotene is chemically similar to beta-carotene, studies have suggested that alpha-carotene is around ten times more effective than beta-carotene in inhibiting the development of cancer cells, and that it has more potent results in reducing the effects of liver cancer and inhibiting the tumour-promoting actions of glycerol in lung carcinogenesis and skin tumours. (1)
β-carotene – β-carotene is the most potent carotenoid precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for biochemical and physiological processes in the body including vision, reproduction, cellular differentiation, gene expression, immunity and growth. Carotenoids are pigments in plants that are usually yellow or red Antioxidants such as beta carotene play crucial roles in the body’s fight against free radicals. There’s a lot of evidence to support the intake of antioxidants to help reach optimal wellness.
Foods Rich in Beta-Carotene include:
α-Carotene – like beta carotene, alpha carotene is found in a variety of vegetables and fruits and is a precursor to Vitamin A. Cleavage of alpha carotene in the body produces retinol and alpha retinol whereas cleavage of beta carotene produces two retinol molecules.
α-Carotene has been shown in large numbers of studies to offer significant health benefits including
decreasing risks of mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. (1)
Other benefits include improved colon, heart, bone and eye health (2, 3, 4, 5)
Foods Rich in Alpha-Carotene include:
Lycopene – is a nutrient in the carotenoid that’s naturally found in some plants. Lycopene provides the pigment that gives red and pink fruits like tomatoes, red carrots, watermelons and papayas their colour and is known to have antioxidant properties.
Clinical trials have shown that lycopene benefits include reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress, including free radical damage to LDL cholesterol. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Foods Rich in Lycopene include:
Beta-Cryptoxanthin – belongs to the class of carotenoids, more specifically the xanthophylls. In the human body, beta-cryptoxanthin is converted to vitamin A (retinol) and is considered as a pro-vitamin A.
Beta-cryptoxanthin is a strong antioxidant and prevents the free radical’s damage to the body’s cells and DNA. Studies have shown it to reduce the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer as well as reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and age-related macular degeneration. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Food Rich in Beta-Cryptoxanthin include:
Flavones – Natural flavones, as well as some of their synthetic derivatives, have been shown to exhibit several biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, anti-allergic, neuroprotective, cardioprotective and antimicrobial. The antioxidant properties of flavones allow them to demonstrate potential application as preventive and attenuating agents in oxidative stress, i.e., a biological condition that is closely associated to aging processes and to several diseases. (1)
A large number of studies carried out have indicated that apigenin has many interesting pharmacological activities and nutraceutical potential. Its properties as an antioxidant are well known, and it can also be a therapeutic agent to overcome diseases like inflammation, autoimmune, neurodegenerative disease, and even several types of cancers. (1)
Although it is found in many fruits, vegetables and herbs, the amount of it varies.
The richest natural sources of Apigenin are:
- Spices such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil and coriander
- Lemon Balm
- Artichokes and Spinach
The flavone luteolin has numerous useful actions that include: anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, microglia inhibition, neuroprotection and memory increase.
Rich Sources of Luteolin (Flavones)
Isoflavones – Isoflavones are a class of flavonoids that exhibit antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing evidence has highlighted the potential for isoflavones to prevent the chronic diseases in which inflammation plays a key role. (1)
Foods Rich in Isoflavones:
- Soya Beans
- Fava Beans
Flavanols – represent a specific group of bioactives, or plant-derived nutrients, within the larger family of natural compounds known as flavonoids. Published research has shown regular consumption of dietary flavanols can promote healthy blood vessel function and slow oxidative damage. (1)
Rich sources of Flavanols include:
Flavanones – Flavanones are associated with a number of health benefits because of their free radical-scavenging properties. They are linked to cardiovascular health, relaxation and general antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory activity.
Sources of Flavanones include:
Flavan-3-ols have been reported to exhibit several health beneficial effects by acting as antioxidant, anticarcinogen, cardiopreventive, antimicrobial, anti-viral, and neuro-protective agents. (1)
Sources of Flavan-3-ols include:
- Tea (green and black)
- Berries (including cranberries)
Phytosterols include plant sterols and plant stanols and are structurally related to cholesterol.
Phytosterols may offer health benefits in both animals and people, including lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease, anti-inflammatory effects, activating apoptosis in cancer cells, and disease prevention and treatment. (1)
Rich sources of Phytosterols include:
- Sesame Oil
- Olive Oil
- Rapeseed Oil
- Pistachio Nuts
- Macadamia Nuts
- Sweet Potato
Bonza’s ultra-premium, plant-based dog food contains phytonutrients from a diverse range of sources to provide the potent protective and preventative health benefits they offer your dog.