As detailed in our post about the ingredients in pet foods, the following vitamins & minerals are added:
“Vitamin and minerals:
Choline, Chloride,Calcium Panthenate, Thaimin Mononitrate, Riboflavin Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Menadione Dimethylprimidinol Bisulfite, Ascorbic Acid, Iron proteinate, ferrous carbonate and ferrous sulphate, Copper Oxide and copper proteinate, Copper Sulfate
This content has been tested at up to 20 times higher than the recommended daily amount (toxic levels).”
However certain vitamins and minerals need others in order to be absorbed and utilised.
In order to convert beta-carotene (a natural anti-cancer) into Vitamin A the body requires adequate amounts of zinc, protein and fats (Mercola, 2011) however there is no zinc added, the protein levels in pet food are particularly low, not all of which is digestible and the fats are not always of the right sort of quality.
A lack of vitamin A causes blindness and also diminishes the ability to fight infections – these symptoms are often noted in conventionally fed pets. It is also noted that a Vitamin A deficiency commonly causes dermatosis in Cocker Spaniels (Watson, 1998)
Whilst vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) & B9 (Folic Acid) are included vitamins B3, 5, 6, 7 & 12 are not – these missing vitamins cause the following symptoms:
B3 – deficiency along with a deficiency of tryptophan (listed below) cause Pellegra (aggression, dermatitis, insomnia, weakness, mental confusion & diarrhoea). In advanced cases dementia & death.
B5 – acne & paresthesia
B6 – microcytic anaemia, depression, dermatitis, high blood pressure, water retention & elevated levels of homocysteine
B7 – Impaired growth & neurological disorders
B12 – macrocytic anaemia, elevated homocysteine, peripheral neuropathy, memory loss & other cognitive deficits, the autoimmune disease pernicious anaemia, mania & psychosis & in rare instances paralysis.
Tryptophan is not added, Tryptophan is an essential pre-cursor to Serotonin, used by the Amygdala in the brain to promote calm, a lack of Tryptophan in the body has been connected with animal aggression, another symptom often noted in conventionally fed pets.
This is obviously not an exhaustive list and further research would be of extreme interest. However, many of the above symptoms are very commonly seen in our beloved pets, now you know why.
Mercola (2011) Genetically Engineered Rice is a Trojan Horse: Misled by Bill Gates and Monsanto, Mercola (Internet) Available from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/21/genetically-engineered-rice-is-a-trojan-horse–misled-by-bill-gates-and-monsanto.aspx (accessed 21/06/2011)
Watson (1998) Diet & Skin Disease in Dogs & Cats, The Journal of Nutrition (Internet) Available from: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/128/12/2783S.short (accessed 21/06/2011)