Angels of Wellbeing: Antioxidants & Taurine
Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and the body’s ability to neutralize them. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced during normal metabolic processes and in response to external factors like pollution, UV radiation, and stress. If left unchecked, these free radicals can damage cells, proteins, and DNA hastening disease & aging.
– by Dr Pooja
Antioxidants: Angels of health
Antioxidants are essential in mitigating the negative consequences of oxidative stress on our beloved feline friends. The various types of antioxidants are as follows:
- Antioxidant proteins: Albumin, haptoglobin, ferritin, and ceruloplasmin
- Enzyme-based antioxidants: SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase
- Water-soluble antioxidants: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), uric acid, bilirubin, glutathione, zinc, and selenium
- Lipid-soluble antioxidants: Tocopherol (vitamin E), carotene, ubiquinol-10 (coenzyme Q10) and lycopene
Antioxidants and its importance
Antioxidants prevent cell damage in cats and are common in commercial cat food. Caregivers can supplement with antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries, spinach, certain herbs, vegetables and fruits. These boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve skin, fur, and overall wellness.
Taurine important for wellbeing
Cat’s and kittens’ health and well-being are significantly impacted by taurine, a ß-amino acid. Taurine is an essential amino acid that cats must get from their diet because they cannot make enough of it on their own, unlike the majority of mammals. It is exclusively present in animal-origin proteins, and cats require it for the following reasons:
- Vision: Taurine protects against retinal degeneration, sustaining cats’ excellent vision. A taurine deficit can cause a disorder called feline central retinal degeneration, which over time can cause irreversible blindness.
- Heart wellness: For the cardiac muscle to work properly, taurine is necessary. Taurine deficiency causes dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in which heart weakens, enlarges and may eventually fail.
- Development and reproduction: Normal pregnancy and fetal development require adequate taurine levels. Low taurine levels in cats can lead to poor prenatal development, limited litter sizes, and low birth weights.
- Immune system: Taurine supports a strong immune system, assisting cats in combating illnesses and maintaining general health.
Sources of Taurine
Animal-origin proteins like chicken and beef are common sources of taurine. Taurine is frequently added to commercial cat diets as a supplement to suit feline dietary needs. While taurine is present in both wet and dry cat food, it may be lost during processing when preparing canned cat food, so it’s important to choose the right nutrition options. Drools cat products in all ranges are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your feline companions, and we’re proud to say that we add taurine, as per the strict AFCO standards, to ensure their health and well-being.”
As many cat pet parents choose to feed their cats homemade food, it’s important to offer a diet rich in natural antioxidants that can enhance the immune system, ensuring their cats receive the necessary nutrition.
(Dr Pooja, Veterinary Product Executive, Drools Pet Food Pvt. Ltd.)