Dogs do not need specific foods in their diet. They need specific nutrients in foods to promote better health. We now know that certain chemicals in certain foods turn off or turn on certain genes in cell DNA. The regulation of these genes can have beneficial or detrimental effects on the body. Nutrogenomics is a new field of study of this impact of chemicals in food and the genetic regulation of body cells. This is exciting.
As we learn more about nutrigenomics, the ancient words of Hippocrates are even more prophetic when he said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
We will be able to make ourselves and our dogs healthier by including ingredients that contain chemicals that turn on “good genes.” This is particularly important for those who feed homemade dog food and have the flexibility to add ingredients as more information becomes available.
What is Nutrogenomics?
We now know the entire canine genetic code. We also have technological advances that allow us to look at the expression of the canine genes to stimuli in real, nanosecond time. This means we can actually measure the effects of chemicals on the DNA of the cell. Neutrogenomics looks at these gene expression changes as a result of chemicals in foods. This information has verified some long standing beliefs in the benefits from certain foods and unmasked the failure of purported beliefs about other foods.
Dog Food Example of Nutrigenomics
Recently a well-known commercial producer of veterinary weight loss diets introduced a new product. The company presented its results at the latest Academy of Veterinary Internal Medicine Symposium that I recently attended in Nashville, Tennessee. They claim more fat loss and less muscle loss during weight loss using their diet. Utilizing nurtigenomic analysis, their compelling results suggested that specific amounts of tomato pumice, coconut oil, and the amino acids L-lysine, L-carnitine and L-leucine triggered this favorable genetic change during a calorie restricted diet. Of course this data needs more long term verification, but the power of this new science, nutrigenomics, is great stuff.
Nutrogenomics and Homemade Dog Food
At this point in time, most nutrigenomic information is proprietary and patented. The company above has made certain that their formula is protected. But this information will eventually become more readily available. As it does, Hearthstone Homemade will incorporate these ingredients, in appropriate amounts, in our recipes and supplements so the power of nutrigenomics is available for your dog’s nutrition and greater health.
Dr. Ken Tudor,
THE DOG DIETITIAN