05JUNE 2017 |

Antioxidants for Dogs and Cats 

What are antioxidants? Well, oxygen in and of itself is not a bad thing. it can (as can others things) cause the production of molecules that have lost a negatively charged particle (an electron). These molecules missing an electron (commonly known as free radicals) go around looking for a replacement for this lost electron. They may pull it off cells or other useful things in the body causing damage. An antioxidant is something (a vitamin, enzyme et cetera) that is in the body or can be supplemented to protect against such damage. This is done by the antioxidant giving up the electron instead of something needed in the body.

Antioxidants seem to do more than just protect cells from these free radicals. Some are listed as helping circulation, strengthening blood vessel walls, decreaing the change of developing bad clots in the blood stream, and maybe even lowering cholesteral. One (bilberry extract) is said to also strengthen the red blood cells themselves and protect the vessel especially in and around the eyes.

Others are claimed to improve immune function decrease inflammation and decrease allergy symptoms, and some respiratory troubles.

Some of the more commonly know antioxidants are vitamins A, C, and E; selenium, and the carotenoids and bioflavonoids. Many have been informed of the antioxidant properties of grape seed extracts as well. Lesser known ones are red wine extract, Pine bark extract, Bilberry extract, Zinc monomethionine, Milk Thistle, lycopene, alpha lipoic acid and OPC (Oligomeric Procyanthocyanidin for our organic chemists out there.)

Different supplements have different ones of these and not all of them have been tried in animals.