Ingredients and Their Health Benefits
Specialty Ingredients Science4Pets Uses and Their Potential Health Benefits
Inclusion of specialty functional ingredients is a hallmark of Sceicne4Pets. They can be in the form of powder, oil, or dehydrated products or even live microbial species which are often referred to as probiotics. These functional ingredients, when incorporated appropriately, are highly beneficial in targeting a specific health benefit for providing the protection against many chronic and microbial illnesses. Overall, their main objective is to promote general health and wellness. Below is a short description of some of them along with relevant scientific literature.
Aloe Vera Leaf Powder: Aloe vera is gel from the succulent leaves of aloe plants of which close to 500 species are found. It is a cactus like plant used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Chinese and other medicines for thousands of years. It can either be ingested or the gel applied topically too. In addition to the perceived benefits in certain illnesses, such as IBS, minor burns, psoriasis, constipation, ulcers, etc., it also has strong antimicrobial properties. Another unique feature of this ingredient is the protection from ultraviolet radiation and skin damage after radiation therapy.
Apple: One of the most popular fruits, probably next only to bananas, in America, apples are found in all the kitchen tables. They are a rich source of phytochemicals, and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. They have been found to have very strong antioxidant activity, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, decrease lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol. Exposure to apples and apple products has been associated with beneficial effects on risk, markers, and etiology of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and Alzheimer's disease. Health benefits related to applies are primarily associated with high antioxidant capacity due to several polyphenolic groups found in apples: flavanols, flavonols, hydroxycinnamates, dihydrochalcones, and anthocyanins. Below are some peer reviewed scientific articles on potential health benefits of apple.
Hyson, D.A. (2011). https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/2/5/408/4557935
Boyer and Liu (2004). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
Skinner et al (2018). https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/76/12/893/5063624
Liu et al. (2001). http://nyshs.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Antioxidant-and-Antiproliferative-Activities-of-Selected-New-York-Apple-Cultivars.pdf
Hyun and Jan (2016). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225682/
Apple Cider Vinegar: No need to mention the potential health benefits of this wonderful ingredient that has been used for millennia.
Asparagus, Powder: A delicacy of its own, even Somerset Maugham wrote about it. Being a veggie, its naturally high in fiber, certain vitamins such as A, C, K, and folic acid and some minerals, such as potassium and selenium. Its also high in antioxidant properties (due to vitamins A, C, and E and mineral selenium), giving many potential health benefits, including improvement in digestive health, urinary tract issues, as well as chronic diseases of our time.
Astaxanthin: One of the most powerful antioxidants used commercially, it is a carotenoid pigment found in krill, microalgae, trout, and shrimp, etc. among other sea creatures. While it is mostly used in human food supplements, Science4Pets is bringing it to the pet food industry to impart the same unique health benefits for the pets we serve as our four legged friends also suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, aging, eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well as rheumatoid arthritis. Science4Pets utilizes this unique ingredient in three different ways, krill oil, krill powder, and astaxanthin oil itself. Here is a link to some really cool scientific articles about the health benefits of astaxanthin, (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C39&q=astaxanthin+AND+Health+benefits&oq=Astaxanthin)
Banana: Probably the most popular fruit in the entire world, it is highly beneficial for your health too. These health benefits are related to the presence of several bioactive antioxidant compounds, such as phenolics, carotenoids, biogenic amines and phytosterols. They are very effective in protecting the body against various oxidative stresses. They are also believed to be quite beneficial in Parkinson's disease owing to their contents of L-dopa and dopamine.
Some scientific peer reviewed journal research on potential health benefits of banana,
Singh et al. (2016): https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814616303831
Pereira and Maraschin (2015). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S037887411400782X
Singh and Zafar (2018). https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article/2/4/183/5164297
Beet, Dehydrated and Powder: Though known mostly as beet, its actually the beet root that is commonly used in the US/Canada and not the leaves. A deep reddish/purplish veggie, it is believed to impart many potential health benefits.
Black Walnut: One of the best natural sources for O3 fatty acid. It also contains high concentrations of certain healthful compounds called tannins (also called proanthocyanidins), which can reduce pain and swelling and dry up body fluids. It is thought to be beneficial in several chronic diseases.
Blueberry: A very popular, tasty fruit native to North America and often considered a superfruit, they are high in polyphenolic compounds such as procyanidins and anthocyanins imparting the fruit with high antioxidant capacity. Its beneficial effects include heart health, brain health, blood pressure and sugar control, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, aging and cancer, among others. It is relatively high in vitamins, C and K, while also being high in manganese.
Broccoli, Powder and Dehydrated: A member of cruciferous family, there is a wealth of peer reviewed scientific research on the potential health benefits of broccoli. It could be summarized as having anti-cancer properties, protecting cardiovascular health, reducing the risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, minimizing inflammation (a key aspect of many chronic health issues), while boosting immunity, improving skin health and aiding digestion and metabolism. Low in energy and high in fiber, it is particularly high in vitamin A, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, folate and vitamin C as well as some minerals such as phosphorus and potassium. It is one of the veggies on the Environmental Working Group’s 2019 list of 15 “clean” vegetables, which means low contamination risk for pesticides. Because of the its relatively high vitamin K content, one needs to be cautious if there is blood thinning drug use in the pets. Like most other cruciferous veggies, it may not be beneficial if the pet has any thyroid issues.
Bromelain: A group of proteolytic enzymes extracted from the stem and fruit of pineapple plant. It helps in the digestions of protein. Its traditionally used to treat medical ailments, primarily throughout Central and South America. It is promoted as a dietary supplement for reducing pain and swelling, especially of the nose and sinuses, gums, and other body parts as well as reducing inflammation, and improving digestion.
Burdock Root Powder: Burdock root as well as leaf is used as food, but all it’s usually the root that is used for medicinal properties, usually separately. Although it’s primarily valued for its cleansing and skin smoothing properties, it is believed to be beneficial in cancer, cough and cold, aches and pain, liver health and blood pressure, along with having anti-microbial and detoxifying properties.
Carrot, Dehydrated and Powder: A very popular veggie with quite high beta-carotene (vitamin A) content. No need to list its health benefits elaborately here. Science4Pets uses both its powder and dehydrated chunks.
Cauliflower, Dehydrated: Another veggie of the cruciferous family, its high in vitamins C, K and folic acid as well as minerals potassium and magnesium. Being a veggie, its naturally high in fiber and low in energy and carbs. It ranks among the top 25 powerhouse fruits and vegetables in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) based on nutrient content per calorie. Being a cruciferous veggie, its rich in glucosinolates, sulforaphane, and indoles, which scientists think may reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer. Its also high in antioxidant capacity.
Cayenne Pepper: A type of chilli pepper related to jalapenos and bell peppers, it is believed to be beneficial in many health related problems, such as digestive health, blood pressure, body and joint pains, cold and flu, psoriasis, etc. while boosting the overall metabolism and antioxidant capacity through zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, lutein, vitamin E, b-carotene etc. among others. It is also believed to prevent allergies, supporting detox, and relieving migraine pain, while having anti-cancer and anti-fungal and properties. The spiciness comes from the pepper’s active ingredient, capsaicin, while the red color comes from cryptoxanthin. It is used in both traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines.
Chamomile: One of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to the Western world, it is a common name used for several daisy-like plants. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in the brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Chamomile preparations are commonly used for many human ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids. Currently, researchers are also exploring its effectiveness in managing chronic illnesses, including cancer and diabetes.
Cinnamon Powder: A highly delicious spice, it is quite high in polyphenolic contents, particularly the monomeric and dimeric procyanidins. Owing to its high antioxidant activity due to polyphenolics, it is currently being investigated for many health benefits against the most common chronic diseases, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, and cancer, among others as well as microbial infections.
Coconut Meal: High in fiber (~35%), most of which being insoluble, it is a rather novel ingredient in the pet food industry. Low in carbs (<10% in general) and glycemic index, its fatty acid profile is unique in that it is high in medium chain triglycerides or MCT with anti-microbial properties. Because of its high fiber content, it helps in reducing the energy content of any pet food or supplement. It is a minimally processed product produced after extracting coconut milk from the flesh and removing the fat, grating the flesh and then dehydrating it. Because of its high fiber content, it helps move food smoothly through the gut, reducing the likelihood of constipation.
Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is naturally high in vitamins A and D, Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. In fact, it is one of the very few natural sources of vitamin D. It is highly beneficial against chronic diseases, such as arthritis, rickets, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, etc. Since it provides great support to the hips and joints and minimizes inflammation of joints or ligaments of your furry friend every day, they can live an active and healthy lifestyle.
Cranberry and Cranberry Extract: Like blueberries, cranberries are also native to North America. Traditionally, its fruits or leaves were used for bladder, stomach, and liver disorders, as well as diabetes, wounds, and other conditions. While its most commonly used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs), high amounts of polyphenol content and antioxidant capacity found in the fruits is now found to be beneficial in many other chronic health problems, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stomach cancer and ulcers, cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, oral health, etc. among others.
Here is a link for some scientific papers on cranberries and cranberry extract on potential health benefits from Google Scholar, (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C39&q=Cranberry+extract+AND+health+benefits&btnG=).
Diatomaceous Earth: Made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms (planktons), it can be used for a wide range of applications from health supplement to pet care. Made from the soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder, it is quite high in silica and used against bed bugs, cockroaches, crickets, fleas, ticks, spiders, and such other pests.
Eucalyptus Oil: Though not commonly used in pet foods and supplements, it is an essential oil that has many potential health benefits not to mention the aroma itself. Some of the health benefits include conditions like cold and flu, cough, throat congestion, allergies and skin conditions, asthma, joint pain and arthritis, etc. It also has anti-microbial activity and as tick and flea repellant.
Fennel Seed, Powder: Used in Ayurvedic medicine quite often for various ailments, fennel seed helps in calming the nerves, promoting mental clarity and healthy digestion and relieve gas and bloating. It contains flavonoids like kaempferol and quercetin, which function as powerful antioxidants by removing harmful free radicals from the body thus offer protection from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases. Quite high in fiber, it is also high in several essential oils, which freshen the breath.
Fish Oil: Unlike most other fish oils out in the market, ours is a blend of several small species, viz anchovy, sardine, mackerel, and herring obtained from the pristine Icelandic waters. Because its concentrated, the amount of omega 3 fats is also very high. Besides high omega 3 contents, it is also high in vitamin A and D. Like all the other fish oils, it imparts several benefits associated with fighting chronic health diseases, hip and joint support, memory retention, vision, skin and coat luster, and so forth.
Flaxseed, Power and Oil: Both seed and oil of flaxseed are becoming more popular in pet food industry now as both are rather high in one of the omega 3 fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid. While various types of fish oil are popular for their EPA and DHA contents, flaxseed is the one that is most commonly used for linolenic acid. Cultivated for over 5,000 years, the seed is also high in fiber and lignans. Lignans are a class of polyphenols, phytoestrogens to be even more specific, while fibers work as food for beneficial intestinal microbes. Research indicates that flax may reduce risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and lung disease.
FOS (Fructo-oligosaccharides): Commonly used as alternative sweeteners, FOS is extracted from the blue agave plant as well as chicory root, asparagus, jícama, and leeks, some fruits and spices such as bananas, onions, garlic, etc. The Jerusalem artichoke and its relative yacón together with the blue agave plant have been found to contain some of the highest concentrations of FOS. Commercially, FOS mixtures are often based on the degradation of inulin extracted from said plants. In the pet food industry, it is often used as a prebiotic or as a type of food for the probiotic microbes.
Garlic: A common ingredient used in Ayurvedic medicine, it’s a natural repellent containing antibacterial and antifungal properties, and supports immune function while cleansing the blood. It is most commonly used for conditions related to the heart and blood system. These conditions include high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). It contains a chemical called allicin that is primarily responsible for the health benefits. Allicin is also responsible for its smell. The amount of garlic in SFP products is always at levels that are proven safe for both dogs and cats. Garlic will only have the side effects discussed by veterinarians at extremely high levels.
Ginger: A popular spice with many health benefits. It's been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat stomach ache, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive issues, common cold, flu, and nausea, among others. Gingerols are the major constituents of fresh ginger and are found slightly reduced in dry ginger, whereas the concentrations of shogaols, which are the major gingerol dehydration products, are more abundant. For more info, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
Green Beans, Dehydrated: A common veggie that doesn’t need much of an intro. We know even the kids are not that averse to green beans relative to other veggies. Same with most pets. Being a legume veggie, they are high in both fiber and protein and low in carb and energy. Among vitamins, it is high in vitamins K, C, and folic acid, while manganese and copper are also relatively high among the minerals.
Green Tea Extract: Green tea extract is high in polyphenols, particularly the catechins and epicatechins. Also called procyanidins, catechins and epicatechins are the monomeric compounds that are bioavailable while others in the group become less and less bioavailable as they increase in size. Known to provide many health benefits, primary catechin found in green tea [Camellia sinensis L. Ktze. (Theaceae)] is (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This polyphenolic compound and several related catechins are believed to be responsible for the health benefits associated with the consumption of green tea. Those potential health benefits ascribed to green tea and EGCG include antioxidant effects, cancer chemoprevention, improving cardiovascular health, enhancing weight loss, protecting the skin from the damage caused by ionizing radiation, and others. The compound EGCG has been shown to regulate dozens of disease-specific molecular targets. You can find numerous peer reviewed scientific articles on green tea extract by simply typing the phrase in Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C39&q=Green+Tea+Extract&btnG=).
Hops: Hops are actually the cone-shaped flowers of the female hops, aka Humulus lupulus plant. They are used to add bitterness, flavor, and aroma, particularly in beer. Its bitterness is useful in preventing pets from eating their own stool. While excess amounts of hops is not advisable for pets and the pets should be kept away from cones or piles of spent hops, it contains flavonoids which have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. A member of the Cannabinaceae family, it is also used as a calming agent to relieve anxiety.
Jerusalem Artichoke: Also called sunroot, sunchoke, or earth apple, it is a species of sunflower native to North America and known for edible tubers. It is a rich source of inulin, a type of prebiotic (meaning food for probiotic microbes) used for establishing and sustaining the beneficial microbiota in the digestive system.
Kale: A green, leafy, cruciferous veggie, it is quite high in vitamins A, K, and C, fiber as well as several minerals, such as potassium, iron and manganese. Its primary health related benefits associated chronic illnesses are believed to be related to the high anti-oxidant properties derived from vitamins A (beta-carotene primarily) and C, and high polyphenolic contents of quercetin, kaempferol, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Kelp Powder: Kelp is a type of large, brown seaweed that grows in shallow, nutrient-rich saltwater near coastal fronts around the world. Kelp grows as big as a tree in the ocean. Despite the appearance, it is not actually a plant. It differs slightly in color, flavor, and nutrient profile from the type you may see in sushi rolls. Kelp also produces a compound called sodium alginate. While its high in certain vitamins like A, K, and folic acid as well as some minerals, such as magnesium and iron, it is really high in iodine, probably the best natural source of this mineral. Iodine plays a crucial role in producing thyroid hormones, managing the metabolism, and aiding the female body in a healthy pregnancy.
Krill Oil: Produced from small crustaceans (Euphausia superba), krill oil is a very strong antioxidant owing to its high astaxanthin content. It minimizes the risk against chronic diseases associated with obesity and inflammation, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which are the major obesity-related health problems in the developed countries. Another great benefit is in the improvement of joint and bone health. Unlike fish oils that contain omega 3 fats in triglyceride form, its considerable amounts of EPA, DHA and other omega 3 fats are present in phospholipid form, which is better absorbed and is ideal for overall health, strong muscles, and healthy hip and joints. Its benefits extend to preventing memory loss, while supporting vision, kidney function, and overall heart health and wellbeing mostly by maintaining normal blood pressure, plasma triglycerides and cholesterol levels. It also enhances skin and coat luster. Here is a review article on krill oil and other krill products, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/5/3300/htm
Krill Powder: Krill is a high quality marine protein source that is gradually making its way into human and pet foods. Considered a novelty, it is not just a high quality protein but also a great source of astaxanthin, one of the most effective antioxidants. Another advantage it has over other animal proteins is being low in fat but high in omega-3 fatty acids. Further, its fatty acids are in phospholipid form rather than the triglycerides as in most other plant and animal fats. Another important aspect of krill is that it is low down on the food chain and eats algae as its food source, so krill is virtually free of pollutants and heavy metals. A relatively recent study in pets showed that it can be used up to 17% of the dry matter without any harmful effects (Krogdahl et al., 2015). Pilot study has shown that may be beneficial in ameliorating metabolic syndrome. Here are some research articles on krill,
Tao et al. (2007). https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/65/2/63/1878678
Krogdahl et al. (2015). https://www.dovepress.com/ii-antarctic-krill-meal-as-an-alternative-protein-source-in-pet-f-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-OAAP
Berge et al. (2013). https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-511X-12-78
Licorice: Licorice is harvested from the plants’ roots and underground stems. It is used as a dietary supplement for digestive problems, respiratory issues, and bacterial and viral infections. In some parts of the world, it is considered one of the oldest herbal remedies. Its primary active compound is glycyrrhizin that gives the sweet taste and which is believed to contain antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties
Mushroom Powder: High in protein and low in calories, this delicious vegetable (or whatever you would like to call) is quite helpful when it comes to supporting pet health and wellbeing. Although there is a wide variation among different types of mushroom, Cordyceps, Shitake and Reishi are probably the ones known a little more than others for their health benefits. They are high in phytonutrient contents, while also being a primary source of ergothioneine, an amino acid sometimes used as medicine. It is believed to be beneficial joint pain, liver damage, cataracts, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, heart disease, wrinkles, and other conditions. Some preclinical and clinical studies suggest impacts of mushrooms on cognition, weight management, oral health, and cancer risk. Preliminary evidence suggests that mushrooms may support healthy immune and inflammatory responses through interaction with the gut microbiota, enhancing development of adaptive immunity, and improved immune cell functionality. Here is a link to Mushrooms and Health Proceedings, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4056650/
Neem Leaf Powder: A powerful antioxidant and quite bitter in taste, neem contains upwards of 100 compounds that are beneficial for overall health and wellbeing. It is a very common ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine. It supports oral health and skin health. In the mouth, it fights off bacteria that can cause various oral health issues, while it also fights the internal parasites found in the digestive system. In fact, various parts of neem, such as bark, twig, leaf, flower, seed, oil, etc. are beneficial for several different ailments. Even Dr. Khanal, Science4Pets’ principal pet nutritionist, boils neem powder in water and drinks that rather bitter juice daily in the morning. For more, you can check WebMd at https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-577/neem
Organic Sprouts: A blend of organic sprouts of pumpkin, brown flax, green lentils, pinto bean, and sunflower seed. Sprouts of basically any grains, legumes and oil seeds have broad health benefits. They are low carb and high in fiber, several minerals and vitamins, while also having high antioxidant capacity. Given this is a blend of multiple legumes, oil seeds, and veggies makes it even more powerful.
Papain: A proteolytic enzyme extracted primarily from raw banana. It helps in the digestions of protein. It is the active constituent found in the latex of the tropical papaya fruit (Carica papaya). Papain is probably the most widely studied member of the cysteine proteinase class of enzymes and the first cysteine proteinase to have its 3-d structure determined.
Parsley: One of the most popular herb often used in American, European, and Middle Eastern cooking, it's commonly used to elevate the flavor of dishes like soups, salads, and fish recipes. Aside from its many culinary uses, parsley is highly nutritious and has been shown to have many powerful health benefits. Its high in vitamins K, A, and C, and anti-oxidant rich plant polyphenols, such as the flavonoids. Its also high in volatile oil components—including myristicin, limonene, and eugenol. No wonder it gives that soothing feeling, while also helping bad breath.
Peppermint Powder: A hybrid of spearmint and watermint, it is generally used as a fragrance enhancer in many different products either as oil or leaves or even the stems. It has that calming/soothing effect and is considered to have health benefits for cold and flu, coughs, headaches, nausea, vomiting, skin conditions, allergies, indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, etc. In addition, it is often used as a breath freshener, while also being used as bug repellent.
Potassium Gluconate: A specific source of mineral potassium with ~16.7% potassium. It is more palatable and non-acidifying than potassium chloride, the primary ingredient used as a potassium source in both human and pet foods and supplements.
Probiotics: Compared to the widely used vegetative bacteria of Lactobacillus, Enterococcus or Bifidobacterium genera, bacterial spores of Bacillus genus offer the advantage of a higher survival rate during the acidic stomach passage and better stability during the processing and storage of the food product. Furthermore, studies have shown that spore itself exerts an immunostimulatory effect which serves to exclude the colonization of the gut by harmful pathogens. This makes them a much better fit for fortification as probiotics in the pet food products. Unlike the industry common vegetative types, such as those mentioned above, Science4Pets uses the two most effective spore forming species, Bacillus coagulans and Bacillus subtilis. Many of our competitors even try to confuse regular customers by providing the number of species from Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Bifidobacterium genera, whereas others mention the relatively high colony forming unit (cfu) count of those same species as if that makes up for the defective product. Here are some scientific peer reviewed articles that explains why Bacillus species are far superior to any others.
Weese and Martin (2011). Assessment of commercial probiotic bacterial contents and label accuracy.
Kris Muller: Research shows benefits of spore-based probiotic supplements—but most probiotics offer little to no benefit, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-10-benefits-spore-based-probiotic-supplementsbut-probiotics.html#:~:text=These%20spore%2Dforming%20or%20ground,probiotics%20to%20the%20small%20intestine.
Majeid and Kamarei (2012). Bacillus coagulans: Probiotic of Choice. https://www.sabinsa.com/newsroom/articles/bacillus-coagulans-probiotic-of-choice-nutracos-march-april-2012.pdf
Pumpkin Seed Kernel: Pumpkin seed kernels are high in protein as well as some minerals, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium. Owing to their high polyphenolic content, pumpkin seed kernels are high in antioxidant activity. It is valued for the anti-microbial benefits, including the anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, which may be attributed to lignans found in the seed. Pumpkin seeds contain the amino acid called cucurbitin, which is suggested to paralyze and eliminate the intestinal parasites, including tape worms, from the digestive tract.
Pumpkin, Powder and Dehydrated: A variety of squash, Americans relate this big vegetable quite well with Thanksgiving. Owing to its rich yellow color, it is high in beta carotene that the body converts into vitamin A. It is also high in vitamin C content and antioxidant capacity.
Some of the potential health benefits associated with pumpkin include its role in vision, reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc. Presence of other compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin are equally helpful in vision and eyesight.
Rosemary Extract and Powder: A popular fragrant, evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region, it is a member of the mint family. The leaf and its oil are used to make medicine, traditionally to help alleviate muscle/joint pain and indigestion, improve memory, boost the immune and circulatory system, and promote hair growth. Though not proven, these health promoting properties are believed to be mainly due to phenolic compounds. Additionally, both rosemary plant and its extracts have been used for their aroma and flavoring properties.
Salmon Oil: A healthy, highly flavorful natural supplement to provide all the EPA and DHA fatty acids that the pets need, while also providing substantial amounts of vitamins A and D. It is produced from wild salmon and sustainably sourced from the pristine waters of Alaska and MSC Certified. It is highly beneficial against chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, etc., while also preventing memory loss. The oil is believed to support joints and ligaments and minimizes inflammation of joints or ligaments. It also imparts lustrous skin and coat while minimizing dry skin, flaking, dull or shedding coat, unnecessary itching or irritation or other skin allergies. Promotes heart health and immune system so your four-legged friend's overall health and wellbeing is improved considerably.
Slippery Elm: A common herbal medicine of the native Americans, it’s the inner bark with mucilage (not the whole bark) that is used to that end, mostly related to the digestive system, fevers, wounds, sore throats, IBS, UTI, skin disorders, burns, etc.
Sodium Bicarbonate: Commonly known as baking soda, it acts as a buffering agent against acidity in the animal body and maintain overall pH.
Spinach, Dehydrated: A leafy green veggie loaded with health benefits that doesn’t need much of a describing. Loaded with vitamin A, C, K, and folic acid, it comes probably near the top in terms nutrition and its potential health benefits. The one we source is not cooked, but dehydrated.
Spirulina: Considered by many as a superfood, it is a type of blue green algae (a type of bacteria) high in protein and several vitamins and some minerals but low in carbs. However, its primary purpose in pet foods (as well as humans) is because of the perceived health benefits against many chronic illnesses. Its high antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Its high in beta carotene content. It became famous after it was successfully used by NASA as a dietary supplement for astronauts on space missions.
Sweet Potato, Powder and Dehydrated: Sweet, starchy root vegetable grown worldwide, it is quite high in vitamins A and C, while also containing relatively high levels of B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), and B6 (pyridoxine) along with minerals such as manganese, potassium, and copper. Their high antioxidant activity is primarily related to high beta carotene content.
Turmeric: Turmeric is another herb extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Some people consider it the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. It can basically be used to provide myriads of health benefits. Some of them include, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-aging, in common cold and flu, Alzheimer's, arthritis, etc. Its effects have been as effective in many chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart related issues, depression and more. High in anti-oxidant capacity, curcumin is believed to be the primary compound associated with many of the health benefits. While the rhizomes appear similar to ginger in appearance, it has a deep yellow color and can also be used as natural coloring agent. Numerous peer reviewed scientific articles on its potential health benefits can be found in Google Scholar, https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C39&q=Turmeric&btnG=.
Wheat Grass, Powder: Wheatgrass is prepared from the freshly sprouted leaves of regular wheat plant. It is high in vitamins A, C and E, as well as iron, magnesium, and calcium. Being a green plant, its naturally high in chlorophyll content too. With the combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant properties, its sometimes considered as a superfood even. Studies have shown that the proteins and antioxidant agents in wheatgrass might help prevent diseases, reduce oxidative stress and boost the metabolism and storage of energy.
Yucca: A plant native to north western US and Mexico, it is high in saponins. The powder of the leaf is used in many foods and supplements. Although it is primarily used in the pet food for in reducing the odor or smell of the waste, it has other health benefits based on Native American beliefs. Based on Native American herbal medicine, it helps alleviate dandruff, headaches and arthritis. Its high in saponins.
Zucchini, Powder and Dehydrated: Another common veggie that doesn’t need much of an intro. Both powder and dehydrated chunks are used by Science4Pets. Like other veggies, it is high in vitamin A and C among the vitamins and manganese and potassium among the minerals.