Is you pet lacking vital enzymes for proper digestion and body health ?
When asked most people either have not heard of enzymes or just do not understand what important functions they play in the body. Scientifically speaking and according to Wikipedia (who can resist the Wiki ?), “Enzymes are biological molecules that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the molecules at the beginning of the process, called substrates, are converted into different molecules, called products. Almost all chemical reactions in a biological cell need enzymes in order to occur at rates sufficient for life. Since enzymes are selective for their substrates and speed up only a few reactions from among many possibilities, the set of enzymes made in a cell determines which metabolic pathways occur in that cell.”
That is probably an over complicated description of Enzymes so lets try to break it down into something easier to digest (pun intended thank you).
Enzymes are required by the body to break down (digest) the food eaten and facilitate the absorption of vital nutrients, which in turn fuel all cell functions and the normal body processes. The body makes enzymes for digestion through the pancreas and it also receives additional enzymes from the food eaten. As the body ages, normal enzyme production is slowed and decreased enzyme levels lead to abnormal body function thru improper digestion of food and reduced nutrient absorption. Additionally, depending on the diet that is being fed, over processed foods (such as commercially available pet food) do not help support a normal enzyme level. Cooking and processing food with high heat kills the majority of enzymes in food. If you are feeding a raw, uncooked diet then enzymes will still be present, but these types of diets can be expensive and time consuming to prepare while commercial dog food is cheap (relatively) and readily available, saving time and money. of course I am not advocating feeding your pet “cheap” food, nor am I saying that to be responsible pet owner you need to spend the time and money creating a raw or natural pet diet, instead I want to help you understand why enzymes are important and what additional options there are for making sure your pet is enzyme strong.
Enzyme Supplementation – How much is enough or too much.
Most animals seem to be healthy on the diets we feed them. If your pet is looking healthy and behaving normally should you supplement their diet with enzymes ? The answer is probably yes. Probably yes because caring pet owners try their best to feed a healthy diet to their pets based on their ability to afford what is available to them. If you can afford to supplement enzymes (and it is not very expensive), then the answer is absolutely “yes”, you should supplement your pets diet with digestive enzymes; but the question is how much enzymes are enough.
Digestive enzymes come in varied strengths, from a low maintenance level for healthy animals, to extremely high doses for pets that suffer from chronic pancreatic diseases such as EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency). Most pets do not suffer from diseases like EPI and will benefit greatly with a medium strength maintenance enzyme supplement. One of the better enzyme supplements on the market is Enzyme Pro Plus from Thomas Labs or Pet-A-Zyme Digest Pro also from Thomas Labs. These are medium strength enzyme formulas with probiotics and other healthy pet vitamins and supplements. Thomas Labs also makes Bio Case and Bio Case Pro for animals that suffer from severe and chronic digestive diseases such as EPI. These products are sprinkled over the food and are very palatable.
Enzyme Pro Plus contains the following levels of digestive enzymes :
- Lipase – 5600 USP – Lipase breaks down the fat in food
- Protease – 43,400 USP – Protease breaks down the protein in food
- Amylase – 49,500 USP – Amylase breaks down the starch in food
- and Lactobacillus Acidophilus (a Probiotic) 1 billion units
There will be more information on enzymes in future articles dealing with inflammation in the body, digestion, and overall good health. check back for regular updates.