ESSENTIAL FATTY ACID UPDATES (Fish oil supplementation- Dogs)
EFA’s (fish oil) cannot be synthesized in the body and their deficiency is associated with well-defined clinical abnormalities or suboptimal physiologic processes. Fish oil supplementation in dogs is now considered “essential” in skin health as well as other organ systems.
Overview of types of EFAs
Omega 6 fatty acids: linoleic acid (LA) is the main dietary source
arachidonic acid (AA) …most essential for cats
*found in phospholipids in cell membranes (important in epidermal barrier)
*western diets have excessive amounts of omega-6…imbalance!
*too much omega-6 can results in pro-inflammatory eicosanoids
Omega 3 fatty acids: alpha linoleic acid- plant dietary source
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)- marine lipids
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)- marine lipids
*essential for nervous system, retina, inflammatory response
excellent review paper: “Timely Topics in Nutrition” JAVMA 2011;239:1441-1451
current concept for supplementation: commercial- veterinary formula- omega 3 ---> best for absorption
current dose recommendation based on body weight: EPA & DHA
40mg of EPA/ kg (up to 50mg for joint health)
66mg of combined EPA & DHA/ kg
disorders/ systems that may benefit with supplementation
cutaneous diseases: atopic dermatitis, seborrhea, vitamin A responsive dermatoses, sebaceous adenitis, ear margin dermatoses, symmetric lupoid onychodystrophy
Nervous system- cognitive function
Growth and development
Gastrointestinal (IBD in dogs)
Neoplasia- adjunct therapy for mammary carcinoma and lymphoma
Potential side effects
1. GI upset, diarrhea
2. fish burps/ breath….freeze capsules to eliminate this problem!
NRC safe upper limit doses in dogs for combined EPA & DHA (omega 3)
10 kg dog….2081mg
1. plant oils: (omega 3=alpha linoleic)
OTC oils (safflower, flaxseed oil, sunflower, corn, etc) are not predictably metabolized to EPA/DHA
2. sources of fish oil (omega 3=DHA & EPA)
wild salmon: concerned with mercury content
farm raised: high PCP levels, parasites, chemicals to give fish color, diet of chicken feces pellets, antibiotics, crowding, etc
anchovies & sardines: wild & non-predatory source better option
Forms of Fish Oil Omega 3
Most OTC forms of fish oil are ethyl esters and are not well absorbed by the GI tract. Bioavailablity is significantly higher with re-esterified triglycerides or free fatty acids which is the form used in veterinary formulations.
Progress in regulation of veterinary supplements
FDA regulates food and drugs yet they do not regulate animal health supplements.
NASC (National Animal Supplement Council) is a non-profit trade association that works closely with FDA and AAFCO to establish fair and reasonable quality standards. Look for the NASC quality seal!
UNLEASH YOUR DOG’S HEALTHY SKIN
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