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Undenatured high biological value protein to the dog’s diet enhances humoral immune response:

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Improves cholecystokinin secretion for spontaneous appetite regulation, energy improvement and bodyfat management; and improved work drive even in ‘drive-less’ animals tested

Clinical Research Division Biologic Nutrigenomic Health Research Corp.

688-2397 King George Hwy, BC V4A 7E9

Research/Trial Director: Prof Franco Cavaleri BSc NB

Original post: January 19, 2011


Undenatured high biological value protein to the dog’s diet enhances humoral immune response:

Investigative work at BNHR over decades has been put to the test through mini pilot trials to shed light on one of the biggest controversies regarding canine nutrition – protein content of the dog’s diet. Manufacturers of commercial feeds have produced foods that typically range from 20% to 35% with a recent move to produce variants of these feeds with a protein macrofraction as high as 45%.

Experts have reported adverse effects of feeding canines diets that are too rich in protein. Our recent findings (late 2010) at BNHRC have set new standards for our FEED recommendations at the research center. High protein canine diets have traditionally been associated with a higher risk for kidney and liver disease and diminished bone density. The typical protocol for kidney insufficiency is to lower protein intake to reduce renal strain but with this reduction in protein intake general immune system response is often compromised and longevity reduced.

We set out to measure the biological effects of adding a BNHR-specified undenatured high biological value (BV 145) whey protein isolate (94% -protein consisting largely of an isolated target peptide) to the existing diet of 42 canines of varying ages, breeds and health status. This long term study involved the measures in change of various biological markers and general fitness and longevity parameters:

– associated with humoral immune response (IgG & IgM) and inflammation (C reactive protein) to assess influence on immunity;

-cholecystokinin (CCK) secretion (serum content) to demonstrate how lower protein diets set the stage for obesity by failing to trigger spontaneous appetite suppression from the meal’s protein fraction;

-liver enzymes (AST & ALT), creatinine and signs of proteinurea to determine how the higher protein intake was tolerated and retained ;

-energy, drive and mental state subjectively ;

-muscle tone and body fitness subjectively;

Preliminary trials helped us define parameters for the study as we set out to disprove the myth that higher protein diets can contribute to disease risk and lower life quality. Our work at the research center unveiled (or at least highlights) what we believe to be the underlying cause of the incremental disease risk – AGEs – associated with higher protein foods.

AGEs are Advanced Glycosylated End products formed during the high heat processing of meat products in the presence of carbohydrate sources. The reactions that occur produce these AGEs and other complexes that can interfere with metabolism, increase oxidative load on the body and significantly reduced biological value of the dietary protein source. This would be the cause of disease-associated laboratory test results commonly associated with higher protein diets.

Our preliminary findings reveal what we thought to be the case; an undenatured protein source with a high biological value, that has not been exposed to the rigors of these high heat oxidative processing methods would not have the same adverse effects and would otherwise contribute to improved health and life quality.

In all 26 animal subjects participated in the study after an extensive evaluation of the 42 that were volunteered. Animals were allowed to continue with the regular feed-type for 6 weeks before samples were taken. Blood and other respective samples were taken every two weeks to set the biological marker baseline for each subject.

PHASE I: The animals were subjected to three food changes involving an increase in protein content by an incremental 10% each time. The dietary change involved increase of protein and decrease of carbohydrate and fat contents to accommodate the protein increment. The food type was kept consistent – animals eating raw stayed with raw of the same protein source; animals eating kibble stayed with the same food type and protein source. Biological markers were tested every two weeks as these increments were applied and administered.

After an eight week washout period….

PHASE II: In this phase the animals were subjected to three protein increments using the same food BASE they were being fed before the trial began. In this phase the undenatured high biological value whey protein isolate (* see description for details of the BNHR-spec protein) was added at a dose of:

PHASE II a: 3.0 grams per 15 lbs of animal per day (max 25 grams/d)= appr 27 % -40 % protein diets depending on starting feed

6 weeks later

PHASE IIb: 5.0 grams per 15 lbs of animal per day ( max 40 grams/d) = = appr 37- 45% protein diet

6 weeks later

PHASE IIc: 8.0 grams per 15 lbs of animal per day ( max 70 grams/d) = appr 42-55% protein diet

The test results demonstrated a reliable adverse activity as the processed protein levels increased in the diets of the canines during PHASE I.

PHASE I: Mean humoral immune response decreased – both IgG & IgM, C-reactive protein increased and surprisingly mean cholecystokinin secretion did not increase with the incremental protein content of the processed food. Energy and drive seemed to increase slightly with incremental protein. Some animals as detailed in the tabulated results experienced elevated liver enzyme activity – ALT. Some animals experienced elevated proteinurea.

PHASE II: We did expect better health results with the addition of the whey peptide isolate (targeted fraction)but did not expect the level of benefit we tabulated. A slight increase in mean humoral response was recorded with the addition of the 3.0 grams of the peptide per 10 lbs of animal. A slight decrease in mean C-reactive protein was recorded.

WEEK 3: But in the third week of the PHASE IIc (8.0 grams of peptide per 15 lbs of canine) a significant increase in humoral response was recorded; C-reactive protein was lowest for the entire study and liver enzyme readings remained within the normal range. These results persisted to the end of the study.

Cholecystokinin (CCK) levels were highest as was spontaneous appetite control. In fact, six of the subjects that were at obese or close top obese status (more than 25% in excess of ideal body weight) were put on a FREE feeding allowance and food intake appeared to be self regulated based on the appetite suppression associated with CCK. Fat mass decreased while muscle mass and fitness increased with no other change in lifestyle.

Undenatured high biological value protein to the dog’s diet enhances humoral immune response:

Subjective reports indicated significant energy improvement, behavioural improvements, improved muscle tone and strength, significantly improved drive and senior animal life engagement. Liver enzyme and kidney function was measured to be within normal range throughout the PHASE II application. Tabulated results define individual successes and biological markers.

The unexpected result that we found consistent in our commentary by the animal guardians was the improvement in tooth and gum health. This was a relevant and legitimate finding since the animal guardians were not allowed to communicate amongst each other; were not given contact info.

Upon further investigation at our facility we feel we have found the source of the oral health improvement – lactoperoxidase contact antimicrobial activity. Reduction in oral microbe survival reduced calculus build up and allowed for an improved gum health.

The study will be repeated with a new larger group to demonstrate repeatability. We believe we have set the groundwork to challenge the myth about high protein diets.

  • GM-PROLA1011 protein fraction

BNHR-spec 145 BV specified whey protein fraction (target peptide): 95% protein; high GMP, lactoperoxodase content; zero lactose


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