Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Nutrition Book and Gluten/Corn parallels

I wanted to write a follow-up to my last post, 10 things I want my clients to know about pet food, which amazingly has not gotten any negative comments in over 200 page views! I count that as a win.

Another blog I follow, Dog Spies, a fascinating but readable blog about canine behavior written by Julie Hecht, highlighted recently a new book about nutrition and feeding dogs. You can find her original post here. The book is called Dog Food Logic: Making smart decisions for your dog in an age of too many choices. It is written by a nutritionist, Linda Case, who presents unbiased and scientific information about the entirety of feeding including the pet food industry, marketing, nutritional considerations, and more. It is intended for the average owner and reads as such. I have only read parts so far, but can't wait to explore it more fully as it seems to be a complete explanation of what I sometimes try to cover in a 5 minute span with a client.

Also, I have added a few more links to the Nutrition page.

Yay Nutrition!!


Wheat. Source:Wiki
Something occurred to me this morning as I was catching up on my blog reading. Orac at Respectful Insolence wrote about gluten-free cosmetics and how they are basically a marketing ploy to get gluten sufferers to buy the product, while having no real benefit (except in the possible case of lip product and true sufferers of celiac disease). Celiac disease is a severe disease in which the individual has chronic inflammation of the GI tract in response to gluten*, caused by a genetic predisposition. Gluten intolerance is an immeasurable problem which may or may not exist, since no physical evidence has been found. Most people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) have decided to avoid gluten for one reason or another and felt better. It is hard to prove that gluten was the culprit in whatever problem they had however when actual evidence is lacking, and avoiding gluten also means avoiding other substances or foods which may be problematic.

It is very similar to perceived corn allergy in dogs. "I changed to a corn free dog food and now my dog is better, he must have a corn allergy." Corn, as previously discussed, has a very low allergenic rate. There are some dogs that have a true allergy and should avoid corn in their food. Most dogs handle corn just fine. If a dog with a skin condition improved after switching to a corn-free over the counter diet, it is nearly impossible to say whether the dog improved because of the lack of corn, or because of other changes in the food ingredients or composition, or because of environmental factors that also changed, or because the owner's perception of the problem changed.

I just found this an interesting parallel in the current human and animal nutrition climates.

*Gluten, as referred to in celiac or gluten insensitivity, almost always refers to wheat gluten, or rye or barley. Corn has no true gluten; the term corn gluten meal is just a term to refer to the proteins in corn. Therefore, do not confuse corn allergy in dogs, real or imagined, with gluten intolerance. 






3 comments:

  1. Oooo! I love Respectful Insolence!

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    1. Do you follow Neurologica also? They write about a lot of the same things, but Steve Novella is less, shall we say, verbose ;).

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  2. In fact, he just published a post about NCGS.

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