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Extended Life?

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  • Extended Life?

    I ran across an interesting article on why big dogs have shorter lifespans than small dogs. Some undergrads from Colgate studied tissue samples from large and small breed adults and puppies and found that, for puppies only, large breeds produce many more free radicals. This suggests that moderate anti-oxidant supplementation during puppyhood might produce a longer-lived adult. Apparently over-supplementation causes damage and nobody knows where over-supplementation starts, but they intend to study that next year. Following is a reference to the article:
    Missing Mira (7/15/03-12/17/13)

  • #2
    Very interesting article. Perhaps they may be right and could potentially extend a life of a large / giant breed, but unfortunately, there are so many other contributing factors to a shorter life span in giants. They might be on to something and I hope they figure it out!

    I do think people tend to over supplement themselves and perhaps their dogs too. Generally speaking, a high quality diet for a dog should be all that they require. I am not a fan of supplementing "just because" and rather reserve that for when something specific is needed. I think some supplements can be very beneficial at times, when used / dosed properly.

    When I was younger, I worked with a woman who took all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Like excessively - or it seemed that way to me. She never took a multi-vitamin, but instead took all that is found in one individually. Her breakfast was actually a giant pile of 50+ every morning. At work, she would drink her coffee and just start taking them slowly, all morning long. LOL No joke... a huge pile of pills. I once babysit her kids and the entire fridge door was nothing but individual vitamin bottles. She would go on and on about how I should take this or that. She had a specific vitamin or mineral for everything. Got a hang nail? She's got you covered.

    It's interesting info.. thanks for sharing it!


    • #3
      Thanks for sharing! I had figured something along those lines for a while, although I never thought about the cellular stress being specific to puppy hood. To me it's always made sense that a bigger dog eats more, digests more, pumps more blood, etc, and all of those things work the systems more, meaning they're bound to have more oxidative damage and degradation over time. Very interesting that they're mainly finding an imbalance during rapid growth. Interesting to see what they come up with in the future.

      I'm also not a fan of over supplementation. I own a health food store, and we serve FOOD. I do a vegan diet and I only supplement with Vitamin D daily and B12 maybe once a month or so, and I do that with blood work to confirm that we're approaching it properly.

      I prefer to give supplements by way of a food (ie, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, kelp, eggs, fish, turmeric) but I will say that if people (or dogs) are genuinely in need of supplementation, I much prefer to see them supplementing that one specific thing rather than pop a multi vitamin. The trouble with a multi is you take it because you need one thing, and with it you can get really high amounts of a lot of vitamins you did NOT need, like 50 percent or more of your vitamin A, or iron, both of which can have negative effects when over dosed. But the lady in the example below obviously has some issues. My grandma was like that, and she ended up rupturing a blood vessel in her eye because she was taking a whole slew of supplements that all sounded great on their own, but each had a blood thinning effect. I always say the best way to get most vitamins and minerals is in the matrix of a whole food. Much less concentrated to prevent overdose, and more likely to occur in a system of synergistic nutrients.

      One more nutrition tangent regarding antioxidants that ties in with my point above, from toxicology class (simplified version):

      The body has a couple different pathways that deal with oxidative / free radical damage. We've all heard that berries are antioxidants. This is true, this is how they exert their net effect in the body. They act by being mild PRO oxidants, triggering one of the pathways in the body to boost the activity of one of our anti oxidant pathways, and the net effect of the boost is positive. Goji berries were really trendy a few years ago, because of their high antioxidant content. So with what we know above, what if we took the goji Berry, concentrated it to 30,000x and took it as a supplement? 30k x the antioxidant strength? Wrong. Pathway is overwhelmed by this ultra high dose (which is actually PRO oxidant), the Pathway is activated, but it cannot reach a level high enough to neutralize the extremely high dose. Net effect is negative. You are taking a pill to combat free radicals, and actually causing them instead.

      "All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison"-- Paracelsus

      Peach, merle Great Dane
      Born July 7 2014
      Peach & Emily!