Influence of Diet on Genetics
is probable that many factors in the environment all play their own
role in determining whether genetic susceptibility to specific diseases
ever develop into
actual problems, and one of these factors is the diet
an individual has.
defects affect the way the body process’s nutrients, as they have the
to block and prevent the body being able to access and
assimilate the whole range of nutrients it needs.
some cases, where treatment for genetic disorders is carried out
without further investigation, further ‘knock-on’ affects can happen
also; i.e. treatment for copper storage disease consisting of the drug
Penicillamine which binds copper, also binds
zinc, thus resulting, over a
period of time, in zinc deficiency.
is difficult, and can even be dangerous to some dogs health for all to
be given identical diets, or for owners to believe that one diet can, or
does, fit all.
study done in the U.K. demonstrates this as it highlights that there is
statistical variation between dogs and their needs, based on their
a group of 7 dogs of the same breed, sex and age, it showed that 1 in
will need about 25% more calories than the average, and 1 in
those 7 will need about 25% fewer calories than the average - thus it is
right that dogs be treated as
individuals with individual needs where
diet is concerned.
than 200 congenital or genetic disorders have been reported in dogs and
of these have an effect on the way the body is able to process
can be seen perhaps more clearly in the obvious differences between
different breeds in dietary needs; i.e. many pet dogs are fine and show
no ill effects when eating meat which has been frozen for long periods,
however, in this same situation, sled dogs in the Antarctic developed
scurvy, a condition which was rectified upon giving them extra
supplements of vitamins to prevent the decrease of plasma concentrations
of vitamin c in their diet so obviously needed in higher amounts by
their bodies due to the genetic disposition and way they have been bred
for the work which they do.
we can treat our dogs as individuals and give them the diet most suited
to them as an individual, this is going to play a large role in their
general overall health, as a
large part of the immune system in in the
gut and digestive system.
A strong immune system will play a large role in determining health and susceptibility
Vitamin C therapy is another area where many dogs show improvement in health.
Belfield DVM has studied the effects of vitamin C therapy for dogs and
believes that a number of pet diseases are actually not genetic, but due
to a diet deficiency in vitamin c.
Some of these diseases include:
This does make sense as vitamin c plays an important role in bone and cartilage metabolism.
humans, dogs can manufacture their own vitamin c, but it is clear to
see how, dependent on their genetic background, they may not be able to
manufacture, or ’hold-onto’ enough, and the quality of the diet and
ingredients given will play a role in determining the quantity and
quality of the vitamin c that they can manufacture.
is easy to see how in this day and age with all the pollution, stress,
environmental irritants etc. that dogs may actually also need extra
vitamin c to what their bodies would manufacture.
‘The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary’ in Utah, over 100 case studies were
evaluated, using varying strengths and combinations of mineral
ascorbates, ascorbic acid and microcrystalline cellulose during a 6
of the study dogs receiving Ester-C calcium ascorbate showed improved
mobility within 4-5 days. These improvements also deteriorated rapidly
discontinuance of the Ester-C.
also need to consider that generations fed a diet lacking the correct
nutrition and balance for that individual will pass on weakness thought
to be genetic but actually possibly caused through deficiencies.
ponder that there is no independent body or organisation who regulates
petfood manufacturers to make sure of the quality of ingredients they
are using, or that they are 'getting it right' for our dogs needs
nutritionally............this is why I like a
natural diet - I control
the freshness and quality of food my dogs get, and I look to mother
nature and follow the example given there as closely as possible - as do
hundreds, thousands of others who feed their pets natural diets - and
guess what - we enjoy healthier pets, who live into ripe old age and
need fewer vets visits during that time.
Most people whose dogs
are changed over to a biologically appropriate diet, inline
nature dictates for the anatomy they have, show great improvements
within week/s of changing !
Copyright - J. Arnold 2008