Antioxidants in Pet Food: Why They're Important to Your Pet's Diet
Understanding free radicals can help you choose the right cat food and provide the best care for your cat. Free radicals are a by-product of energy production within the body. A cat's body can normally handle free radicals, but if the amount of free radicals becomes excessive or if sufficient antioxidants are not available to help, damage can happen.
What are free radicals? Free radicals are highly reactive, oxygen-containing molecules that can damage cell membranes, enzymes and even DNA. Your cat's nervous and immune systems are especially vulnerable. Free radicals are now considered a factor in the progression of disease and premature aging.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are nutrients within food that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Common antioxidants include vitamins A, C and E. An abundance of antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables. The right combination of antioxidants in cat food can help make a difference in good health.
How antioxidants help. The body's normal antioxidant defenses provide some protection against free radicals, but get this: each body cell usually gets hit about 10,000 a day! The addition of antioxidant rich food, including vitamins E and C, beta-carotene and selenium, provide support for your cat's natural defenses.
Most effective in combinations. Combining specific levels of the key antioxidants vitamins E+C, selenium and beta-carotene help support the immune system and contribute to vitality, health and longevity.
How Hill's® cat foods make a difference. The unique combination of antioxidants in Hill's clinically proven antioxidant formula can significantly reduce cellular oxidation by free radicals.1 Antioxidants within the formula work together to support overall health and provides for the whole body as your cat ages.
¹Jewell DE, Friesen, K., Larson, L., Sharp, T., and Schultz R. Journal of Animal Science 2003. (81 Suppl 1) 261.
Vitamin E Helps neutralize free radicals that cause damage.
Vitamin C In-activates free radicals. Regenerates vitamin E, restoring its antioxidant activity.
Selenium An essential component of beneficial antioxidant enzymes.
Beta-carotene Scavenges free radicals and works together with vitamin E.