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If you have the habit of going through the list of ingredients in your canine’s food, you might have come across antioxidants. You might be wondering why manufacturers of dog food are using antioxidants in their products? You have come to the right place as you can learn about the role of antioxidants and their use in dog food below:
Sources Of Antioxidants
Most manufacturers use natural or synthetic antioxidants or a mix of both when they make dog food. Natural antioxidants consist of rosemary, citric acid, and vitamins C and E to name a few. You can get vitamin C from vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, tomatoes, apples, and cranberries. Citric acid comes from fruits such as lime, lemon, and orange. Vitamin E comes from a variety of oils such as sunflower, safflower, soybean, and corn. Manufacturers use mixed tocopherols instead of Vitamin E on the list of ingredients.
Some of the synthetic antioxidants used in dog food are ethoxyquin, BHT, and BHA. Synthetic antioxidants are made in labs and work well when combined with natural counterparts. When you take a look at the chemical structure of BHA and BHT, you will find it similar to Vitamin E. Although there are a lot of controversies surrounding ethoxyquin, it is safe in small amounts.
Use Of Antioxidants In Dog Food
The main reason why manufacturers of dog food use antioxidants are to prevent oxidation from taking place. Oxidation is a chemical process that breaks down the fats and nutrients in food. Oxidation also causes discoloration and rancidity if left unchecked.
Antioxidants slow down the progress of oxidation by blocking the damaging effects of oxygen. In most cases, manufacturers add antioxidants during the early stages of production to ensure they work optimally. They also combine different types of antioxidants to improve their effectiveness.
Role Of Antioxidants
Besides working as anti-oxidizing agents, they also come with a myriad of health benefits. For starters, all the cells in your canine’s body don’t get damaged due to antioxidants. Oxidation inside the body leads to the production of free radicals which damages your canine’s cells. If you don’t do anything about these free radicals, they will continue to damage the cells. They also improve the immune system of your canine so that it can lead a healthy and happy life.
If you give antioxidants to a puppy, it will enhance the canine’s immune system significantly. Similarly, when adult canines consume antioxidants, it prevents damage due to oxidation from taking place in their organs and brain. As a result of this, the lifespan of your canine will increase considerably.
If you have any queries regarding this topic, feel free to leave a comment below!