Link between allergies and Nutrition
I found this to be a very interesting read. The writer is a raw proponent but it's still a very good read.
Allergies & Nutrition, exactly what is the connection?
Will feeding a raw food diet help my pet’s allergies?
I will tell you that raw food will unquestionably help pets with allergies.
See, one of the problems with using kibble when dealing with allergies, is that there are SO MANY ingredients in the food, how can you properly identify what the troublesome food source is?
The second problem I have with kibble is that it's actually the processing of the food that is causing problems and usually not so much the food itself. That is not to say dog’s don’t have food allergies, they can and do. But I know people whose dogs were "allergic" to beef but once their systems were cleaned out with a proper raw diet, they could eat beef without incident. I will get into detail further along about mucous, as this does have a bearing on allergies and how they are perpetuated by processed food.
Remember when lamb & rice kibble was the hypoallergenic dog food? Now it's fish and potato, and next year it will be quail and quinoa. When I do speaking engagements, I always stress to pet owners the need for variation. It takes 1 to 3 years to develop an allergy; most dog owners find a food and stick with it until the dog has some sort of reaction (i.e. allergies, itchies, weight gain).
Now lastly are the grain ingredients in kibble products. When they are whole, they pose less of a problem than when they are *over* processed for kibble products. Not to mention the fact that the kibble companies don't use the best grain ingredients, what they get are fractions of grains and floor sweepings. Yet still some dogs will not even be OK with whole grains, just like people, each has a different body to work with.
If you have a pet that suffers form allergies (inhalant or food), please find a vet who will put off or eliminate vaccinations until this dog is not so compromised. While the manuals that the vets receive for companion animal vaccinations aren't quite as comprehensive as the one for humans, the human one does state that vaccinations shouldn't be administered to patients with T or B or T & B cell immunodeficiency. T & B cell immunodeficiency is characterized by allergies.
Here is an outline of the role mucous plays in the digestive system and how it perpetuates allergies:
Interestingly, when cooked foods are eaten, large amounts of mucus are secreted. Foods that are particularly mucus forming include: meat, cheese, milk products, pastries, candy, white flour products, white pasta, and ALL PROCESSED, REFINED FOODS. These foods may appropriately be referred to as "glue foods." Nature provides mucus as a protective coating, which surrounds gluey material to keep the intestinal membranes from absorbing toxic substances.
When cooked food is eaten, the T-cells, which are so vital to immune function, increase in the gastrointestinal tissue to protect our system from certain foods, which are interpreted as foreign matter. If we consume cooked and processed food day after day without adequately eating raw food and fibrous foods, protective mucus will form in excess and build up on bowel tissue similar to the age rings we see in the trunks of trees. Dr. Bernard Jensen, in his book “Tissue Cleansing Through Bowel Management,” writes: “Mucosal dysfunction occurs when the intestinal mucous lining becomes stagnant and putrefactive. It begins to develop many unfavorable conditions. No longer does it serve the function of facilitating elimination of faecal material. Instead it degenerates in several ways. It can become abscessed, in which case irritations, abrasions, ulcerations and bleeding can occur. Food passage can be very painful. Mucous can dehydrate and accumulate due to increased viscid consistency. This causes layer upon layer to be built up until extreme constipation occurs. This old material becomes a source of infection and toxic absorption, holding many otherwise excreted products. It also greatly inhibits the absorption of nutrients and water, adding to nutritional crisis.”
As a result of faulty eating, nature's protective coating -- which was designed for occasional use only -- becomes enraged and inadvertently contributes to ill health. Consequently, the immune system is taxed and the presence of this excess mucus creates a perfect medium for the multiplication of bacteria, viruses, parasites and worms. Autoimmune diseases may develop due to the fact that the immune system has begun to attach the body, rather than invading microorganisms. Continually eating “lifeless” foods -- cooked, refined or processed foods devoid of fibre and enzymes -- over stimulate the immune system in a way that compromises its function. As a result, we become susceptible to every virus and bacteria, constantly coming down with some illness and we may not think to relate it to our digestive systems.
Kibble will take an enormous toll on a pet’s body. Since the kidney and liver constantly filter waste products from the body, they were (and are) constantly at work when so many impurities were present. I mean, in addition to the extremely poor quality ingredients of most kibbles, you will also have a variety of chemicals to preserve it, BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin. Now in addition to these preservatives, inorganic and toxic dyes are added to commercial food. Binding agents are added to the food to create the shapes and clay products may be added to produce consistent-looking stools. Other additives can include anti-caking agents, drying agents, texturizers, stabilizers, and thickeners. And while not chemicals, refined sugar and fat may be added to make the food more palatable.
To just give an explanation of how the digestive system is affected by what form nutrition is obtained, here is a summary of the life of a kibble pet ...
Puppies (or kittens) experience initial intestinal scarring and protein infiltration when weaned on to commercial food at an early age (early age in biological terms would be before three months).
Intestinal scarring interferes with the re-absorption of bile salts. The liver produces bile fluid that plays an important role in the digestion of dietary fats. The digestive enzymes used to digest food are delivered to the small intestine in a solution of water.
Since oil (fats) and water don't mix, the enzymes have difficulty attaching to the liquid. To solve this problem, bile is secreted by the gallbladder. Bile salts act like laundry detergent, emulsifying lipid molecules. This breaks down the lipid and exposes more surface to the effects of the digestive enzyme lipase. Bile salts are not normally excreted from the body, they are recycled. Once their work is complete they are reabsorbed from the intestine, recycled by the liver and returned to the gallbladder for future use. (Note: re-absorption problems would be the early morning vomiting of bile.)
Eating a lifetime diet of processed food places a great demand on the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes.
Unable to keep up with the demand, the pancreas becomes enlarge and enflamed.
White blood cells bring additional enzymes to supplement digestion, neglecting their job to protect the body from invaders. Digestion is slowed.
Slowed digestion allows ample time for harsh chemicals and foreign molecules to irritate the pancreas, liver and intestinal lining.
The irritation and otherwise-occupied white blood cells provide continued opportunities for large grain protein or other foreign molecules to infiltrate the intestine.
Constant inflammation of the pancreas, liver and intestinal linings result in a sustained production of cortisol.
The adrenal glands, exhausted from this sustained effort, may produce cortisol that is biologically inactive.
Biologically inactive cortisol fails to shut of the ACTH (adrenocoricotrophic hormone) feedback loop. The pituitary gland may become hypertrophied and exhausted. Excessive cortisol production, prescription steroids, intestinal scarring, and the otherwise occupied white blood cells hamper IgA production (IgA is the first line of defense in the immune system).
IgA deficiency allows for the continued infiltration of large protein molecules into the body.
IgG and IgM antibodies are deployed, which memorize the amino acid chains of the large protein molecules, and attempt to destroy them.
IgG and IgM antibodies later recognize that same amino acid chain elsewhere in the dogs’ own body. Unable to distinguish between self and non-self, the antibodies destroy these tissues as well.
And a lymphatic system preoccupied with immune function (the production of more white blood cells) interferes with lipid digestion.
It's a chicken-and-the-egg puzzle. Many dogs today exhibit some degree of leaky gut syndrome and excess cortisol production. They suffer from chronic skin infections, allergies, autoimmune disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, obesity, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infections, and incontinence. *Which particular* disorder they develop is likely a matter of genetic predisposition. But many of our pets are experiencing the same underlying problems.
Natural, raw food is the foundation for many, many years of brilliant health.
Sources: Dogs, Diet & Disease, Caroline Levin
The Natural Guide to Colon Health, Louise Tenney
The Immune System Cure, Vanderhaegue & Bouic
Chances are if your parents never had kids...you won't either...