Fruits, Vegetables, Grains & Herbs In Pet Foods
What these ingredients have in common!Potatoes, Potato starch, Potato Protein
Peas, Pea Protein
Soybean, Soybean Mill Run, Soybean hulls, Soy flour, Soy protein isolate, Soybean oil
Corn, Corn meal, Corn protein, Corn oil
Beet pulp (fiber left over after extracting the benefits of sugar beets)
Tomato pomace (seeds and skins left over from making tomato paste)
Alfalfa meal (stems of alfalfa hay)
Cellulose flour (wood pulp, saw dust)
Wheat, Wheat protein
Garlic, Garlic Oil
This list of ingredients are from plant sources.They can be found on the label of your average, as well as “premium,” “holistic,” “raw” and “prescription” dog and cat foods. Many of these ingredients are by-products of the human food chain. A by-product is an incidental, unintended (but inevitable) or secondary product that results from the manufacturing process to produce something else. The waste produced during the extraction of the most valuable part of something. They are all by-products of the human food chain. The refuse that's left over from making our food, because there isn't enough premium to go around.
These ingredients are not digestible by carnivores, because as carnivores, they do not produce the enzymes needed to break down plant cellulose (the insoluble substance that makes up plant cell walls and of vegetable fibers). Therefore, they have NO nutritional value. In fact, exclusively feeding raw plant matter to carnivores will result in starvation. Vegetables and fruits can not be digested by dogs or cats, regardless of whether they are ground, raw or cooked.
Most of these ingredients contribute indigestible fiber to the ration in the form of plant matter, which is designed to form a firm stool, artificially. They prevent diarrhea, because in the absence of sufficient amounts of quality meat-based ingredients, they can produce a firm stool. This does not occur without penalty to the animal and has a tremendously devastating negative impact on the digestive process of carnivores, which leads to nutritional deficiencies and disease.
The fibrous plant matter expands by 250 to 500% when rehydrated by digestive tract fluids. These ingredients occupy more room in the GI tract than are occupied by all the other ingredients combined. The few vital nutrients contained in the animal protein, fats and oils in the ration are diluted appreciably as a result, and must compete with this vast amount of bulk to have any chance of being absorbed. This prevents the very valuable animal protein, fats and oils (tissue-building nutrients) in the ration from being digested and absorbed.
Fiber interferes with nutrient availability and absorption, and it can interfere with the action of the digestive tract itself. The fibrous material actually causes the digestive system to work in reverse; the body rushes food through the stomach and small intestine, and then slows the passage of residue through the colon. This does not allow the stomach time to break down the ingredients and the intestines to absorb the nutrients. This reduces the nutritional value of the ration even more, which can cause an unhealthy dynamic in the body.
Residue, that is retained artificially (fibrous material is used to harden stools to prevent diarrhea) in the colon, causes toxins to form, accumulate and be absorbed into the blood stream. Obviously, this condition causes considerable harm to the immune system and damages the intestinal lining, while also contributing to life threatening conditions, like bloat and torsion. Of particular concern are those plants that contain Saponins.
Excessive amounts of fiber in the diet can also create allergies by rushing partially processed protein molecules and other large substances into the small intestine, where they can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes allergies to protein foodstuffs. The best remedy for food allergies in dogs is to feed a species appropriate (carnivore, not vegetarian), extremely low fiber diet, so those types of fiber-causing allergies can disappear.
Many are sources of carbohydrates, which are unusable by dogs and contribute to plaque build-up on teeth. This adds the expense of having to take a dog to have their teeth cleaned on a regular basis.
Legumes and gluten grains are cheap, indigestible sources of vegetable protein, and are no substitute for quality animal-based protein. Soy also contains ovulation-suppressing factors, which can interfere with reproduction.
All of the above-mentioned ingredients contain Saponins, except cellulose flour, which contains alkali. Alkali can burn intestinal tissue.
So, with all this in mind, I have to wonder how much nutrition are they getting and what are you really paying for? Read further and I will explain:
What are Saponins?Many plants contain powerful phytochemicals that are non-toxic to humans and some are even beneficial to us, but several are toxic to certain species of animals. Saponins serve as anti-feed-ants to protect the plant against being eaten by herbivores. For example, by producing a bitter taste they reduce palatability. They have been imbued with life-threatening animal toxicity, which makes the animal that ingests them feel ill and teaches them never to eat that plant again. This is also a defense against ingestion by insect pests (natural insecticide), as well as providing protection from exposure to the elements, like intense sun. There is a great variety to the toxicity of Saponins from different sources and their effects on different animals may vary, but to some extent - they wreak havoc in every carnivore who ingests them.
What Saponins do:When ingested by carnivores at sub-lethal levels on a regular basis, Saponins (plant toxins) corrode the digestive organs, and allow the Saponins to enter the bloodstream, as if injected. Symptoms of Saponin toxicity range from convulsions and paralysis to sudden death. Death in such cases has been ascribed to the inflammation caused by the Saponins, rather than by direct absorption, but most of the time symptoms go unnoticed and cause sub-clinical health problems. The pet parent in unaware that anything bad is happening, because the progression is slow.
Saponins can irritate, inflame, ulcerate and corrode the very thin lining of the intestinal tract, creating a condition that is identical to Leaky Gut in humans, where large undigested food particles, microbes and toxins enter the blood stream. Saponins cause internal and external skin lesions, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease.
Saponins contribute to the development of allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancers, metabolic disturbances and other health problems. Saponins cause a variety of skin and coat problems.
Saponins paralyze the digestive organs and the vomiting reflex, which is the main cause of bloat and torsion, as well as death.
Saponins can cause veins in the intestines, abdomen, heart, uterus and stomach to become enlarged and hemorrhage.
Saponins dissolve red blood cells. This involves Saponins complexation with cholesterol to form pores in cell membrane bilayers, e.g., in red blood cell (erythrocyte) membranes, where complexation leads to red blood cell membrane rupture and destruction. The destruction of red blood cells causes anemia and also has a direct influence on the central nervous system. Animal protein is needed to make red blood cells. A diet of plant protein, containing saponins is a double assault on the body.
Saponins interfere with the enzymes that are responsible for energy metabolism, especially those that affect the citric acid cycle. Inhibition of this major metabolic pathway has profound effects on nutrient utilization and growth.
To compound the problems, research has proven that sugar beet and soybean Saponins and Phaseolins stimulate rapid growth, while interfering with the protein-splitting enzymes involved in tissue production, thus potentially producing muscular and skeletal failure during growth that can lead to reproductive disorders and interfere with the nutrients required for sound growth (hip dysplasia). See Neiko's story on the Happy Abady Pets page.
Legume Saponins inhibit protein-splitting enzymes and cholinesterase, which not only interferes with the body’s ability to break down food, but also increases the toxicity of many drugs, including worming agents, flea treatments, etc. The proclivity of Saponins toward enzyme destruction is not affected by heat or processing.
The toxicity of Saponins from most of the ingredients that are commonly included in commercial dog foods can be very severe. Experiments with pregnant animals yielded patterns of abortion and death. Autopsy findings were fairly consistent and revealed intestinal inflammation and enlargement of the veins in the abdomen, intestines, and uterus. In pregnant animals, Saponins cause hemorrhages in the heart, uterus and abdominal cavity, uterine inertia, resorptions and abortions, and are responsible for patterns of gastroenteritis, colitis, retained placentas and death were also common.
Saponins can also cause birth defects, stillborn puppies, small litters and lack of milk. There is a broad range of interference with reproduction caused by Saponins and by hormones that suppress ovulation contained in many of the same materials, so Saponins can also interfere with conception, which would be of particular concern for breeders.
The use of fibrous plant matter is designed to form a firm stool, artificially. This multiplies the effects of Saponins by retaining the food and fibrous material for extended periods of time in the ileocecal valve and the colon. Saponins can be very damaging to carnivores, and are the principle cause of numerous health problems, especially if ingested on a regular basis. Remember, dogs and cats eat grass to throw up.
None of these health problems exist with any of Abady’s formulas, because The Robert Abady Company excludes all Saponin containing ingredients from their dog and cat foods.