Updated: Oct 16
Study-based commentary on Canine Dietary Protein Meal Proportion Controversy
Original post: January 19, 2011
What does this study result mean for human dietary protein intake?
The oxidation and damage of the protein content in a bagged (and even canned food) food is believed to be the cause of the health risks. Raising protein content in a processed kibble simply increases the concentration of these health-compromising AGEs. AGEs are Advanced Glycosylated End products formed during the high heat processing of meat products in the presence of carbohydrate sources. They are implicated as the source of metabolic interference and cause of many protein-related ailments in humans and other species. (see study for elaboration on AGE complexes).
High dietary levels of lower biological value protein or protein that has been damaged by processing can also result in systemic ammonia elevation to consequently result in body/blood pH anomalies. To counter this pH change the body naturally attempts to neutralize the acidic environment by extracting bone mineral (osteoclast activation). This contributes to bone demineralization and premature joint degeneration – another concern associated with the high protein diet but more likely caused by the AGE’s and damaged nitrogen sources (protein) in high heat processed protein –rich food than the protein itself.
Lowering protein content lowers the adverse effects of the AGEs through the direct reduction in their concentration. However, lower protein diets are associated with compromised immunity, obesity and sub bar metabolic health as further demonstrated in the BNHR study. Low protein diets for canines are not a viable alternative in the treatment of these ailments.
Elimination of the grain (carbohydrate source) in the meal formulation also reduces the incidence of AGEs during processing since the AGE is a product of the carbohydrate (glucose/fructose) and protein (amino acid) reaction; and is the likely method by which grain-free foods have been associated with lower health risks and improved longevity.
A diet high in processed proteins (and consequently high in AGE’s) will contribute to systemic ammonia elevation and AGE -related oxidation to lead to unnaturally elevated liver and kidney work, cardiovascular risks, bone and joint degeneration and increased neurological oxidation, increased risk for brain plaque formation and premature neurological decline.
Raising protein quality and lowering exposure to AGE’s is the key to preserving health and longevity
and avoiding these health risks. Canine diets at or lower than 28% protein are not providing enough quality protein for optimal health, energy and performance. This is especially true for physically active dogs. However, raising the protein content of the processed diet presents the aforementioned risks. The solution is in undenatured peptide supplementation of any diet – raw or kibble – to reach a preferred 40 % (and as high as 50 % for some active animals) protein with at least 30% of the protein content coming from the high BV protein source – BV > 125.
The results of our study and the reports from canine guardians who have followed the recommended regiments for their athlete, senior, or family sedentary pets have been more than just promising; it’s been an incredible eye-opening experience validating all we have stood for in the last decade at our research center.
Based on extrapolation of data and some preliminary work we can make some assertions about the impact of protein quality in our own human diets. The same study will be executed on a group of human subjects as soon as laboratory time is scheduled and the right circumstances are created.
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