Susanna McIntyre (Penman) BVSc MRCVS
Founding President of The British Veterinary Dental Association
Pant-Yr-Eos Farm, Henllys, Cwmbran, South Wales, NP44 7AS
Phone 01633-612595 Mobile 07973-295891
Web sites www.petplusvet.com for dogs and cats
www.juiceplus.co.uk for people
Max Tuck BVetMed MRCVS
4 Ashley Close, Swanwick, Southampton, SO31 1FW
This pilot study involved 13 cats and 2 dogs. The animals involved were all suffering from a degree of periodontal disease which required treatment. One of the cats involved had gingivitis/stomatitis complex. All the animals which were provided with the active enzyme supplement showed significant improvements in their oral health compared with the unsupplemented control group. The most notable was the dramatic improvement in the cat with gingivitis/stomatitis complex. As a result of these very encouraging findings, we are continuing to use Pet Plus in practice. Since this pilot study was completed in 1997, thousands of dogs and cats have benefited from the inclusion of Pet Plus in their diet.
The modern diet of domesticated dogs and cats is very different from that of their wild counterparts. Cats have evolved as carnivores and in their wild state will catch and kill their own prey, eating the meat, bones, intestinal tract and offal. Dogs are more adaptable and, by nature, scavengers, but their natural diet is also raw, like that of the cat, although it usually contains more vegetation. There have been several studies showing improvements in oral health following a change from a processed food diet to a raw food diet in both dogs and cats. One of the major differences between these two diets is their enzymatic activity. As processed foods are produced at high temperatures, any active enzymes which may have been present in the original raw ingredients are destroyed.
This study explores the effects of adding a concentrated multiple micronutrient and active enzyme supplement (Pet Plus+ for Dogs™ or Pet Plus+ for Cats™) to processed pet food diets on the oral health of dogs and cats.
Materials and Methods
All cats and dogs were examined while under general anaesthesia, induced by Rapinovet and maintained by Halothane, nitrous oxide and oxygen, standard practice in 1997. Photographs were taken and the degree of gingivitis assessed using the following gingivitis index:
• I mild with no bleeding on probing
• II moderate with no bleeding on probing
• III severe with bleeding on probing
• IV severe with swelling or ulceration and spontaneous bleeding.
A thorough prophylaxis was performed with the details recorded on a dental chart. Further photographs were taken. All animals were discharged on 5 days of Synulox. The supplemented group commenced the daily enzyme supplement immediately upon discharge. The control group had no supplement.
Post-operatively, all animals were re-assessed on days 5, 14, 21 and 28, updating the dental records. Photographs were taken at 28 day intervals in most cases. Home-care was specifically not implemented in order to minimize the variables.
The results are very interesting, with the improvements gained being maintained throughout the period of supplementation. Most of these animals have remained on the supplement and are planning to continue for life.
(a) Gingivitis in all supplemented animals improved and in some cases resolved. These changes were evident 5 days post-operatively and continued after withdrawal of antibiotic therapy.
(b) Gingivitis in the unsupplemented animals improved in most cases up to day 14, but with no home care and only a processed proprietary diet, the gingivitis had started to worsen by day 21; one cat had reverted to its original grade III gingivitis.
(c) Two unsupplemented cats showed no significant improvement by day 5 so further antibiotic therapy was implemented. This was continued up to day 21. Unfortunately one of these cats was withdrawn from the trial, but the other, after no improvement on 3 weeks of Synulox and an 8-day long-acting corticosteroid injection, joined the supplemented group, where his condition has greatly improved.
(d) The cat with gingivitis-stomatitis complex was in the supplemented group. At the start of the trial, the gingivitis was classified as grade IV with spontaneous bleeding of the gingival tissue. Pharyngeal ulceration was also present. Improvement to grade III gingivitis was noted by day 5 and by day 28 the examination and repeat photographs showed a grade I gingivitis with resolution of approximately half the area of pharyngeal ulceration.
The preliminary findings of this study suggest that the micronutrient and enzyme activity of the food plays a significant role in the state of oral health. Recent research in the human field (I.L.C. Chapple et al) has shown that serum antioxidant levels are directly related to periodontal health. In addition, the other exposed epithelial surfaces (e.g. cervix and lungs) are affected in the same way. This emphasizes the importance of a thorough oral examination at every consultation as the state of oral health reflects the degree of health of the whole body. If oral health is poor, a natural whole food supplement is required to redress the balance of micronutrients which will provide the body with the ingredients it needs to effect repair and maintain health.
Pet Plus, the natural whole food nutritional supplement used in this study, contains active enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and prebiotics all from dehydrated, concentrated raw food. It is having a positive impact on the overall health of dogs and cats all over the world.
It has long been realised that micronutrients (especially live, active enzymes) play an important role in the proper functioning of all living things. Only recently have we begun to understand that unless these are present in the diet, body systems begin to fail. This results in degenerative diseases, especially cancer and heart disease, and allergies, which are becoming increasingly common in the human and domestic animal populations of the developed world.
Why are active micronutrients so important?
(1) Free radical pathology is now largely accepted as a major cause of degenerative disease. It is estimated that every cell is exposed to free radical attack 10,000 times a day.
Antioxidants offer the major protection against these molecules.
Free radicals are unbalanced molecules which need an electron to regain their neutral balanced status. If this electron is taken from a cell, the cell is damaged, which is the beginning of free radical pathology.
Antioxidants work synergistically to provide the necessary electron to neutralize the free radical, thus protecting the cells.
The Antioxidant Recycling Cascade
That antioxidant is now short of an electron and effectively behaves like a free radical. It needs to be repaired by other antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes found in whole food sources but missing from isolated vitamin/mineral supplements. This natural antioxidant recycling cascade cannot work effectively when vitamins are given in isolation or in large amounts (e.g.1000mg vitamin C), because the damaged antioxidant is left unrepaired doing as much damage as the original free radical.
There are now known to be over 15,000 micronutrients in whole raw food all of which are required to maintain the fine natural synergistic balance of health.
(2) Enzymes are essential catalysts for all metabolic processes. Without enzymes, there would be no metabolic processes and hence no life. These are only available from a whole raw food source as it is essential to have all the enzymes together so they can work synergistically in an efficient natural balance. They are destroyed by heat and processing.
Micronutrients are used up during the process of living. They constantly need to be replaced. The only source is raw food. Without an adequate supply, the body gradually runs out of enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, probiotics, prebiotics and other essential micronutrients resulting in a reduction of both the function and the protection of the body organs. Consequently degenerative disease is initiated. To prevent this, it is essential to provide a natural nutritional supplement, like Pet Plus, which provides all these nutrients.
In the developed world, we have moved away from raw food towards processed foods of enormous variety for ourselves and our pets. We are largely loathe to return to the perceived inconvenience of raw food.
A new era of nutritional supplements has evolved made from the raw food on which the animal is designed to live, being bio-available, bio-active and rich in active micronutrients which work together synergistically, but do not work properly in isolation. In this way, the essential elements of raw food, most of which have not yet been identified, are provided without the inconvenience, when added to the animal’s normal diet.
Since 1992, several medical trials have been completed on people using
• huge increases in antioxidant levels with concomitant decreases in lipid peroxides (a measure of cellular free radical damage) (Wise J A et al, Leeds A.R. et al)
• 66% reduction in DNA damage (Smith M J et al)
• enhanced immunity (Inserra P.F. et al)
• improved muscle to fat ratio (Ray M et al)
• reduced plasma homocysteine (instrumental in the pathogenesis of heart disease) (Samman S et al, Panuzio M.F. et al)
• a reduction in the vasoconstriction which normally follows a fatty meal (Plotnick G.D. et al).
Clinically, one of the notable improvements is in the health of the oral tissues, a trial on which is currently running at Birmingham University Dental School, UK, under Professor Iain Chapple. It is due to be published in 2011.
The initial findings of this pilot study indicate that the micronutrient activity of food, its bio-availability and the synergistic actions of its components play an important role in the oral health of cats and dogs. Since the completion of this study in 1997, thousands of dogs and cats have been taking Pet Plus with excellent improvements in overall health and vitality.
Alpha-tocopherol, Beta-carotene, Cancer Prevention Study Group. The effect of vitamin E and beta-carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. New England Journal of Medicine. 1994;330:1455-1456
Chapple I.L.C. et al. Glutathione in gingival crevicular fluid and its relation to local antioxidant capacity in periodontal health and disease. Journal of Clinical Pathology: Molecular Pathology 2002:55:367-373
Inserra P F et al. Immune function in elderly smokers and nonsmokers improves during supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts. Integrative Medicine 1999; 2(1); 3-10
Leeds A.R. et al. Availability of micronutrients from dried, encapsulated fruit and vegetable preparartions: a study in healthy volunteers. J Hum Nutr Dietet 2000; 13; 21-27
Panuzio M.F. et al. Supplementation with fruit and vegetable concentrate decreases plasma homocysteine levels in a dietary controlled trial. Nutrition Research: 2003; 23(9); 1221-1228
Plotnick G.D. et al. Effects of supplemental phytonutritents on the impairment of the flow-mediated brachial artery vasoactivity after a single high fat meal. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2003; 41: 1744-1749
Ray M. et al. Positive effects of nutritional supplements on body composition biomarkers of aging during a weight loss program. Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association, March 1998
Samman S et al. Supplementation with mixed fruit and vegetable concentrate increases plasma antioxidant vitamins and lowers plasma homocysteine in men. Nutrition. 2003;133:2188-93
Smith M J et al. Supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts may decrease DNA damage in the peripheral lymphocytes of an elderly population. Nutrition Research. 1999;19 (10):1507-1518
Wise J A et al. Changes in plasma carotenoids, alpha tocopherol and lipid peroxide levels in response to supplementation with concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts: a pilot study. Current Therapeutic Research 1996;57:445-461.
Billingshurst, I. (1993). Give Your Dog a Bone. I. Billingshurst, Lithgow.
Howell, E. (1985). Enzyme Nutrition; The Food Enzyme Concept. Avery Publishing Group Inc. Wayne, New Jersey. ISBN 0-89529-221-1
Lonsdale, T. (1995). Peiodontal disease and leucopenia. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 36, p542-546.
Pottenger, F.M. Jnr. (1995). Pottenger’s Cats. Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, San Diego, California.
DuBois Dr. R E. Oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of disease and ageing: an opportunity for intervention. 2003.
Original paper published in BVDAJ, 2000, page 7