Help | About | Toll-Free 1.800.423.8211
We ship to
Thank you for registering
SeniorPetProducts > SeniorPetProducts Articles >

Vitamin E is a natural fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver. It is found in most tissues of the body. It has also been shown to have reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and help cells fight infection...

Vitamin E was first discovered in 1922 when it was determined that female rats required vitamin E in order to maintain a normal pregnancy. Vitamin E is a natural fat-soluble vitamin and is stored in the liver. It is found in most tissues of the body. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that neutralizes harmful molecules called \"oxygen-free radicals\" that can damage cells. It has also been shown to have reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, and help cells fight infection.

The requirements for vitamin E in a diet depend on a number of factors, including the dietary levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium, with which it is closely linked.

In commercial pet foods, vitamin E is used to prevent the oxidation of fatty acids which leads to rancidity. It accomplishes this by \"neutralizing\" the free radicals which cause rancidity. However, during this process, vitamin E is used up. Therefore, an increase in the amount of fatty acids in a diet, especially unsaturated, requires a corresponding increase in the amount of vitamin E and also increases an animal\'s requirement for vitamin E. For this reason, feeding a diet that has been improperly prepared or stored, or supplemented with large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, can lead to a vitamin E deficiency.

The effects of vitamin E deficiency, while uncommon in dogs and cats, are well-recognized. In dogs, vitamin E deficiency has been associated with impaired immunological response, retinal atrophy, muscle dystrophy, testicular problems, and failure of gestation. In cats fed marginal or low levels of vitamin E and high amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, pansteatitis or \"yellow fat disease\" can result.

Vitamin E supplementation has been shown to have some anti-inflammatory effect on certain skin disorders in dogs. It is used in the treatment of certain immune-mediated diseases, including such diseases as dermatomyositis, discoid lupus erythematosus, pemphigus erythematosus, and epidermolysis bullosa, with varying degress of success.

Vitamin E at high doses ( four to ten times the normal canine daily intake) has been shown to be effective in the treatment of a disease called primary acanthosis nigricans in dachshunds, with reductions in inflammation, crusting, and itchiness. No toxic effects were reported. In fact, high levels of vitamin E are considered to be non-toxic to animals, although an excess intake may increase the requirements for vitamins A and D.

Studies have shown vitamin E to be ineffective on its own in the treatment of itchiness and inflammation in dogs with allergic disease Decreased blood levels of vitamin E were thought to cause suppression of the immune system leading to demodicosis, a mite infestation in dogs that is the result of a faulty immune system. Dogs with demodicosis were reported to show significant improvement when treated with supplemental vitamin E . However, these findings were contradicted by other studies which demonstrated no significant improvements in dogs with demodicosis when supplemented with vitamin E.

Vitamin E plays a role in both canine and feline nutrition, both in preventing certain deficiency-related disorders and as a form of adjunctive therapy in certain skin diseases . It can also play an important role, along with vitamin C, as an effective antioxidant in commercial pet foods.

Reprinted with permission from www.animalhealthcare.ca

SeniorPetProducts Articles Index
Like this article? Share it!  

  • Published: