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Dr Mercola Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes 150g

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Dr Mercola Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes 150g

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Dr Mercola's Healthy Pets Digestive Enzymes improve your pets digestion and help to absorb essential nutrients contributing to your pet’s overall well-being. 

Does your pet show signs of less-than-optimal digestive health, such as occasional abdominal discomfort and gas, occasional bad breath or vomiting? OR how about less-than-optimal joint health or minor food sensitivities, lack-lustre energy and overall less-than-ideal health? You probably wouldn't suspect these issues to be connected with poor digestion, would you?

One solution to explore is to supplement with digestive enzymes to help improve your pet's digestion, absorption of nutrients and ultimately to contribute to your pet's well-being. Whether your pet is fed a raw diet, a canned or a dried kibble diet, she is likely to benefit greatly from supplemental enzymes.

Further information is available below. 



Using only the finest, human-grade quality ingredients, Dr Becker has selected five animal-sourced enzymes because these most closely mimic what you would fine in the GI tract of ancestral prey:

  • Betaine HCL: breaks down proteins into peptides and amino acids and fats into triglycerides
  • Bromelain (pineapple) – to help break down and digest protein.
  • Papain (papaya) – a natural plant-sourced enzyme which works together with bromelain to digest protein
  • Pancreatin – an animal-based pancreatic enzyme providing all three of these enzymes:
  • Protease which helps break down proteins into amino acids for digestion, Amylase for splitting and breaking down long-chain carbohydrates, including starch and glycogen (the energy-storage molecule in animal tissue) for digestion in the small intestine and finally Lipase which helps break down and digest fats.

Whether your pet is fed a raw diet, a canned or a dried kibble diet, she is likely to benefit greatly from supplemental enzymes. Supplementing with enzymes helps ensure she can completely digest her food without dipping into that fragile bank of metabolic enzymes. When digestive enzymes are used after meals, they work systemically for metabolic purposes. They circulate throughout the body, via the bloodstream, helping to:

    • Promote a healthy immune response and maintain normal immune function
    • Support the healthy circulation of blood through arteries
    • Clear cellular debris while cleansing tissue
    • Stimulate healthy new cell growth
    • Promote normal cell growth
    • Support normal detoxification processes
    • Clear away undigested proteins, cleansing the lymph and blood

The Magic of Enzymes

One of the vital forces and energy of life, enzymes are tiny protein molecules found in every living cell. Enzymes are responsible for many activities and functions involving energy production, metabolism, detoxification, and so much more.

Here are some of the many benefits of enzymes (beyond just digestion):

      • Supports the immune system
      • Aids the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food
      • Promotes normal body weight without hunger cravings
      • Promotes respiratory health
      • Helps reduce minor food sensitivities • Helps promote normal cell growth
      • Supports healthy teeth and gums • Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range
      • Reduces occasional bloating, gas, heartburn, and constipation
      • Lessens skin irritation and excessive shedding
      • Provides more energy due to better utilization of nutrients • Helps remove toxins from the body
      • Promotes comfortable movement of joints

Why Digestive Enzymes May Be So Beneficial to Your Pet’s Well-Being

The two main types of enzymes most important to your pet's well-being are metabolic and digestive enzymes. Metabolic enzymes function throughout your pet's body to help carry out the critical bodily functions of building and maintaining every cell, tissue, and organ.

Digestive enzymes work in the stomach and intestines to break down the food your pet eats. Your pet's body depends on enzymes in her digestive track to unlock vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients from the food so they can be absorbed.

The four basic digestive enzymes are:

      • Protease – helps break down and digest protein
      • Amylase – helps break down and digest carbohydrates and starches
      • Lipase – helps break down and digest fat
      • Cellulase – helps break down fibre

When Your Pet Lacks Sufficient Digestive Enzymes?

Firstly, his body robs critical metabolic enzymes from other important tasks, such as immune function, as digestion of food reigns as a high-priority, survival activity. Secondly, a lack of digestive enzymes may result in incomplete digestion, allowing partially digested food particles to enter the bloodstream directly from the large intestine.

Less-than-optimal health may be at least partially due to your pet's body's response to undigested food particles circulating in the bloodstream.

Where Your Pet Gets The Enzymes She Needs

Your pet relies at least partially on her diet for the enzymes she needs to digest her food. In summary your pet get the enzymes she needs for digestion and other metabolic functions from two sources: 1) Your pet's diet and 2) Your pet's body

Just about every raw, fresh food – whether it is plant or animal source – contains enzymes. However, enzymes are fragile beings and heat, pesticides, herbicides, food preservatives, additives, artificial colourings, and flavour enhancers can easily destroy them. In your pet's body, air pollutants, smoke, excessive UV rays from sunshine, and medications can all deplete enzymes.  Free radicals produced during periods of increased activity and even normal cell activity also diminish your pet's enzymes.

If your pet consumes mostly processed or cooked food, she likely receives little or no enzymes from her food, and must rely on her body to manufacture many or all of the enzymes she needs.

Your pet's pancreas produces protease, amylase, and lipase, but likely not enough to completely digest her food.

The Natural Process of Digestion in The Wild

Wild dogs and cats provide valuable clues to your pet's digestive needs. To better understand the role enzymes play in your pet's digestion, let's look at what happens when your pet's ancestor – whether it be a wild dog on the prairie or a wild cat in the desert – eats a meal.

When he slaughters his prey, he receives small amounts of grasses, fruits and vegetables from consuming some of his prey's digestive tract. However, by the time he consumes them, these foodstuffs are already partially digested, mixed with the prey's rich secretions of pancreatic enzymes.

Pre-digestion of any vegetable matter found in the prey's GI tract is an important part of carnivores being able to assimilate the vitamins and antioxidants found in these foods, unlocking their nutritional benefits and allowing them to be passed up the food chain.

The fresh raw muscle meat from his prey also contains the natural, live proteolytic enzymes needed for its digestion. Further, when coyotes and wolves hunt prey in the wild, they devour organs rich with enzymes, such as the prey's pancreas, which provide supplemental, live digestive enzymes. Because they receive sufficient enzymes from their prey for digestion, their own metabolic and digestive processes are not taxed. Their bodies are able to readily supply ample amounts of metabolic enzymes to carry out other important bodily functions.

Your Pet’s Digestive System

Your pet's nutritional needs remain much the same as her ancestors. For many reasons, most pet owners don't consider their pet's ancestral diet when deciding what to feed their pet. However, you may be surprised to learn that, even after thousands of years of selective breeding, not much has changed with your pet's digestive system.

Dogs and cats are still carnivores with bodies designed to eat fresh, raw meat and bones. And, thirty years of studies confirm that the natural diet of both cats and dogs doesn't contain grains or seeds, unless they are pre-digested by small prey animals.

Just take a glimpse at your pet's teeth – the first step of her digestive process. You'll find she clearly lacks suitable tooth surfaces to grind grains so common in today's pet diets.

However, it's not just her teeth keeping her from naturally eating grains… Her body isn't designed to digest them. Meat-eating animals, such as cats and dogs, naturally produce more protease to handle their high protein requirements. They don't naturally produce much amylase because their ancestral diet doesn't consist of grains nor does their body have a nutritional need for grains and starches. Adding to a lack of appropriate enzymes, dogs and cats' digestive tracts are shorter than humans' are and simply not designed to digest starchy foods effectively. Here's the real issue… consuming these foods on a regular basis can result in less-than-optimal metabolic function.

The Problem With Today’s Pet Diets

If you feed your pet a commercial dry or canned diet, most likely they are enzyme-deficient. As we've already seen, for a food to maintain its natural enzymes, it must be uncooked and unpasteurized, non-irradiated, and untreated with any source of heat.

Today's commercial pet foods lack healthy natural enzymes as the food is over-processed and in-organic. Production of both canned food and dried kibble require very high temperatures, which destroy any live enzymes present in the food. If the manufacturer adds enzymes, they often break down when exposed to air, light, and the processing needed for the food's long shelf life. Additionally, pet food processing can cause food nutrients to become chemically trapped, which can cause them to pass through your pet's digestive system unutilized. Enzymes are needed to help unlock these food nutrients and aid in digestion.

The Truth Behind The Enzyme Depletion Theory

Young and old alike, both dogs and cats may benefit from supplemental enzymes. Unlike humans, dogs and cats in the wild do not produce enzymes in their saliva. However, studies reveal an interesting phenomenon when researchers switch dogs' diets from enzyme-rich raw food to a high carbohydrate, heat-processed diet. They begin to produce the enzyme amylase in their saliva within a week.

Commercial pet food proponents highlight this as a good thing. But is it really? Firstly, it's not a natural occurrence for the species. Secondly, producing these extra enzymes may be robbing animals of precious enzymes for metabolic functions elsewhere in their bodies. When fed grains, the pancreas must produce large amounts of amylase to deal with the starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates, which is something it's not designed to do.

What's more, a carnivore's pancreas does not secrete cellulase to split cellulose into glucose molecules. Dogs simply have not become efficient at digesting and utilizing grains or plant material as a source of high quality protein. Here's the problem with this ramped up need for extra enzymes: As your pet ages, production of enzymes declines. And this can lead to unwanted consequences for your pet.

When Declining Natural Enzymes and an Enzyme-Deficient Diet Collide

Many holistic veterinarians recognize that a lack of enzymes – both digestive and systemic – may be a major factor in less-than-optimal health. Think about it. If your pet's cells, tissues, and organs can't function without enzymes, then might a shortage have a negative effect on his body and speed up the aging process?

Feeding your pet supplemental enzymes may not only boost digestion, but can also spark improved cellular function throughout his body. Supplemental enzymes can also help with tissue and cellular structure.

Most importantly, supplemental enzymes take the load off your pet's body to produce enzymes, unleashing a tremendous boost to his natural health.

Using Naturally Occurring Enzymes to Boost Your Pet’s Digestion

The first step in providing your pet with the enzymes she needs for both digestion and metabolic functioning is to provide the foods appropriate for her species.

Dr Karen Becker recommends switching your pet over to a diet containing as much living, raw ingredients as possible. Raw meat is an ideal food for your cat or dog, but I understand that some pet owners are hesitant to take that step. The next best thing you can do for your pet is to feed very finely chopped or pureed raw, enzyme-rich vegetables. How you feed the raw foods is very important. When handling raw foods, you must take extreme care to avoid contamination. And the variety of foods you include determine whether or not you're providing your pet with a well-balanced and healthy diet. Further information can be found in her book, written with Beth Taylor Dr. Becker's Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats.

If preparing your own pet's food is not for you then look for frozen raw, species-specific diets which are now readily available.

Why Raw Food May Not Be Enough When It Comes To Enzymes: 

Raw food certainly supplies more digestive enzymes than processed (canned or kibbled) pet food, but many animals consuming raw foods still benefit from enzymes. All raw food diets attempt to mimic, as closely as possible, what our carnivorous companions would be eating in the wild. Cats catch and kill mice, dogs eat rabbits and other small prey. However, there are three parts of the whole prey model no manufacturer will add to their commercially available raw foods: fur (fiber), guts and glands for many reasons.

Your Pet’s Best Insurance For Protecting Her Fragile Enzyme Bank: 

Whether you feed your pet a healthy homemade or frozen species-specific diet, a canned or a dried kibble diet, she will likely benefit greatly from supplemental enzymes. Supplementing with enzymes helps ensure she can completely digest her food without dipping into that fragile bank of metabolic enzymes.

When you feed your pet enzymes with her meals, they aid in digestion. When you feed the exact same enzymes at other times, they work systemically for metabolic purposes.

When used this way, after meals, the enzymes circulate throughout her body via the bloodstream, helping to:

      • Support the healthy circulation of blood through arteries
      • Maintaining normal immune function
      • Clear cellular debris while cleansing tissue
      • Stimulate healthy new cell growth
      • Promote normal cell growth
      • Promote a healthy immune response
      • Support normal detoxification processes
      • Clear away undigested proteins, cleansing the lymph and blood

    How Is It Best To Feed the Enzymes?

    Feed the recommended dosage (not more) of a high quality animal-based enzyme on a morsel of food one or two hours after meals. Giving enzymes in between meals ensures the enzymes won't be utilized for digestive purposes.

    This article was written by Dr Karen Becker of Mercola Healthy Pets.

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