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Oxidative stress and food supplementation with antioxidants in therapy dogs

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of a long-term antioxidant-supplemented diet to regulate the oxidative stress and general health status of dogs involved in animal-assisted intervention (AAI) programs. Oxidative stress is a consequence of the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Exercise-induced oxidative stress can increase muscle fatigue and fiber damage and eventually leads to impairment of the immune system. A randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical evaluation was conducted with 11 healthy therapy dogs: 6 females and 5 males of different breeds and with a mean age of 2.7 ± 0.8 y (mean ± SEM). The dogs were divided into 2 groups, 1 fed a high quality commercial diet without antioxidants (CD) and the other a high quality commercial diet supplemented with antioxidants (SD) for 18 wk. After the first 18 wk, metabolic parameters, reactive oxygen metabolite-derivatives (d-ROMs), and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) levels were monitored and showed a significant reduction of d-ROMs, triglycerides, and creatinine values in the SD group (P < 0.05) and a significant increase in amylase values in the CD group (P < 0.01). At the end of this period, groups were crossed over and fed for another 18 wk. A significant decrease in amylase and glutamate pyruvate transaminase (GPT) values was observed in the CD and SD group, respectively (P < 0.05). In conclusion, a controlled, balanced antioxidant diet may be a valid approach to restoring good cell metabolism and neutralizing excess free radicals in therapy dogs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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