Can Your Pet Have Deeper, Richer Pigment and a Thicker Coat with a Change of Nutrition?
You have some control over the look of your pet companions coat, and you can restore their hair color and texture with a custom formulated bio-nutrition diet. Here are some ways to giving your show dog, show cat or special pet companion the edge over its competition with a naturally luxurious coat.
Healthy looking hair is in general a sign of good health and good hair-care practices. Most healthy pets being fed a whole food or modified raw diet have adequate nutrients in their diet; however some pet companions do not have access to good nutrition, others have medical illnesses that predispose them to nutritional deficiency which influence skin and coat hair.
Nutrition is a complex subject and the effects of correct nutrition are indirect and often slow to appear. Hair in particular is slow to respond to any stimulus. Trials have indicated that correct nutrition is instrumental for healthy hair growth, and conversely many deficiencies correlate with hair loss, dull coats and washed out color. Hair nutrition is therefore a vital part of any pet health regime. A truly systematic and rigorous approach must be taken when formulating any diet for hair due the many factors that affect the eventual efficacy of the treatment. Malnutrition, neuromuscular disease, chronic illnesses, malignancy, and advanced age can cause hair to change color, be weakened or lost.
Genetics and health are factors in hair well-being. Proper nutrition is important. The living part of hair is under the scalp skin where its root is housed within its follicle. It derives its nutrients from blood. Health concerns (e.g. stress, trauma, medications, medical conditions, heavy metals, smoking etc.) can affect the hair.
It is important to mention that many of the metabolic requirements of follicle cells (minerals and vitamins) must be satisfied for optimal hair growth, along with proper color and good texture (not usually derived from processed foods).
Veterinary Nutritionists confirm that pet companions with certain nutritional deficiencies tend to have dry, thin, brittle and dull hair, and sometimes experience hair loss. Fortunately it can be restored once the deficiency is addressed. The essential omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B12, and iron, found in fish sources, prevent a dry scalp and dull hair color. Dark green vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, which help with production of sebum and provide a natural hair conditioner. Legumes provide protein to promote hair growth and also contain iron, zinc, and biotin. Biotin functions to activate certain enzymes that aid in metabolism of carbon dioxide as well as protein, fats, and carbohydrates. A deficiency in biotin intake can cause brittle hair and can lead to hair loss. In order to avoid a deficiency, individuals can find sources of biotin in cereal-grain products, liver, egg yolk, soy flour, and yeast. Protein deficiencies or low-quality protein can produce weak and brittle hair, and can eventually result in loss of hair color. A balanced diet is necessary for a healthy skin and hair.
A well created diet can be a foundation of health and nutrition. Changes in skin and hair can provide clues to the presence of an underlying vitamin deficiency. Hair ultimately reflects the overall condition of the body. In health problems or nutritional deficiencies hair may stop growing or become brittle. If a pet’s body is in good health, it is possible to maximize genetic growth cycle through taking the proper blend of amino acids and B-vitamins. Certain vitamins, minerals and amino-acids are crucial to the metabolic pathways involved in keratin protein (hair) metabolism, leading to a potential loss of hair and substantial degradation of hair health. There is a rather adequate research basis to justify product effectiveness claims for a vitamin, mineral and amino-acid complex designed to supply the nutrients needed by healthy growing hair.
B5 (pantothenic acid) gives hair flexibility, strength and shine and helps prevent hair loss and greying. Vitamin B6 helps prevent dandruff and can be found egg yolk and liver.
Vitamin B12 helps prevent the loss of hair and can be found in fish, eggs, chicken and milk.
It is also important to include B6, biotin, inositol and folic acid in the supplemental program. It has been found that certain minerals including magnesium, sulfur, silica and zinc are also very important toward maintaining healthy hair. Vitamins B1, B2, Niacin & Pantothenic acid. Reduced levels of thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, and pantothenic acid can contribute to the undernourishment of hair-follicle cells.
A decrease in folic acid may contribute to decreased hair-follicle cell division and growth. Folic acid is also essential for the maintenance of healthy methionine levels in the body. Signs of folic-acid deficiency include anemia, fatigue, and premature graying under the chin of your pet.
Biotin, part of the vitamin B complex, is another nutrient associated with hair loss. Biotin is required for a number of enzymatic reactions within the body, and is necessary for the proper metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Over time, poor metabolism of nutrients can contribute to undernourished hair-follicle cells. Although rare, a biotin deficiency results in skin rashes and hair loss. A study conducted at Harvard University suggests that biotin is one of the most important nutrients for preserving hair strength, texture, and function.
One of vitamin C’s major functions is to help produce and maintain healthy collagen, the connective tissue type found within hair follicles. Vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant and protects both the cells found within follicles and cells in nearby blood vessels.
Vitamin E helps to maintain the integrity of cell membranes of hair-follicles. The vitamin provides physical stability to cell membranes and acts as an antioxidant while promoting healthy skin and hair. Vitamin E and selenium work together to prevent attacks on cell membranes by free radicals by reducing peroxide concentration in the cell.
Beta-carotene is also important to hair growth. This is so because beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A as the body needs it, helps maintain normal growth and bone development, protective sheathing around nerve fibers, as well as promoting healthy skin, hair and nails.
Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants that enhance skin cell turnover and collagen synthesis. Vitamin C helps reduce the damage caused by free radicals and UV exposure. Over time, free radicals can damage collagen and elastin, the fibers that support skin structure. Vitamin E also helps reduce the skin effects of free radicals and UV exposure.
Selenium is necessary for iodine metabolism. Case studies have indicated that selenium deficiency can lead to cancer, heart disease, and poor hair growth.
Calcium - a fraction of the body’s calcium stimulates cell mediators that act on cell-membrane phospholipids in hair-follicle cells. Most Americans fail to meet the recommended daily intake for calcium. Patients have to be advised to take magnesium with supplemental calcium to maintain healthy calcium levels in the body. Without extra magnesium to balance it, large doses of calcium may be harmful. The recommended dosage is 100-200 mg of calcium per day.
Zinc is essential for DNA and RNA production, which, in turn, leads to normal follicle-cell division. Zinc is also responsible for helping to stabilize cell-membrane structures and assists in the breakdown and removal of superoxide radicals. Zinc intake is generally low. Topical applications of zinc have been shown to reduce the hair loss activity of 5-AR type II. The recommended dosage is 15 mg of zinc (in the form of zinc amino acid chelate) per day. Zinc deficiencies, and any associated hair health, may associate with low-calorie diets, especially young women. Zinc is found in meat, eggs and seafood.
Many common vitamins and all amino acids exist as multiple isomers; however it is rare that these are equally available to dogs and cats metabolism. The chirality of amino acids is well established, as is the dramatic difference between left and right enantiomers in the canine and feline body. On the whole, canines can only metabolise left or L enantiomers, such as L-Cysteine. R-Cysteine is not taken up or commonly metabolised, therefore commonly used racemic mixtures of the two forms are only half comprised of useful amino acids.
Vitamins, such as vitamin B6 also have several forms, pyridoxine is the form of vitamin B6 most commonly used in nutritional supplements, however it is not the bio-active form. Instead it must be phosphorylated to become pyridoxal-5-phosphate, which is active as an enzyme cofactor for many reactions, and is important for uptake of other nutrients as well. The phosphorylation reaction to activate pyridoxine takes energy and a certain set of conditions, and therefore not all the pyridoxine taken in a supplement is used. A more efficient alternative is to use pyridoxal-5-phosphate in the supplement, so the bio-active form is immediately available, requiring no energy, and minimal wastage.
Bioavailability is not just controlled by isomeric forms. Nutrient uptake is complex, and there are many surprising instances where one nutrient is dramatically affected – either negatively or positively, by a completely different nutrient in the formula.
The 6 top foods that are the foundation of healthy hair diet.
Our clients often ask a question – what food should I really feed my pet to have a great coat?
1: Salmon (Non-Factory Farmed)
Salmon and Mackerel provide omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin B-12 and iron. Essential omega-3 fatty acids support scalp health. Deficiency can result in a dry scalp and dull hair. Vegetarians may source plant-based omega-3 fats from ground flaxseed.
2: Dark Green Vegetables (GMO Free)
Spinach, broccoli and Swiss chard, provide vitamins A and C used in sebum production (secreted by hair follicles) Dark green vegetables provide iron and calcium.
3: Organic or Free Range Poultry
Poultry provides the high-quality protein and iron with a high degree of bioavailability.
Weak brittle hair may derive from protein defficiency.
4: Organic Eggs
Eggs are sources of protein, biotin and vitamin B-12 , important beauty nutrients.
5: Whole Grains
Fortified whole-grain breakfast cereals, containing zinc, iron, and B vitamins are important.
6: Carrots (GMO Free)
Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A.
For healthy hair and beauty, food variety may be the best option.
A balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fatty fish (salmon) and low-fat dairy products are potential aides to your show dogs hair/coat.
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