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Author Topic: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?  (Read 20475 times)
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catbird
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2010, 06:59:30 PM »

Someone else found this article and sent it to me (thanks.)  It seems to be a third-year law student paper from Harvard Law School (2006), and has plenty of footnotes with citations.  It really rakes the pet food industry over the coals, and is well worth reading.  But the part that caught my eye, in relation to the topic of this thread, is the following, which follows a discussion of when manufacturers began to add taurine to cat food:

"The upsetting death of thousands of cats serves as proof of the pet food industry’s ignorance regarding what constitutes a 100% complete diet. The commercial pet food industry has been around since the early 1900s. Yet an apparently essential nutrient went undiscovered until 1976, and even then, only accidentally by an academic outside the industry.[220] So why had cats not been dying of taurine deficiency in such large numbers prior to this discovery in the early 1980s? The answer lies in the industry’s shift from animal protein sources to an increased reliance on carbohydrates in their formulas. In other words, as long as the pet food industry included a significant amount of animal protein in their pet foods, the pets ingesting these products had no risk of developing a taurine deficiency. "

http://leda.law.harvard.edu/leda/data/784/Patrick06.html

This would seem to be saying that the foods containing large amounts of grain are the most likely to be taurine-deficient.  Now I doubt that would apply to the cats in whose memory I started this thread, because they were fed high-quality meat-based diets.  But it makes me shiver in relation to what a lot of people feed cats.  So if taurine is being under-supplemented, through fake or low-potency Chinese imports, or if the current taurine standards are insufficient, beware of typical grain-filled pet foods!
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Offy
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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2010, 07:12:31 PM »

Here's a couple of references on the taurine & rice too.

http://www.feline-nutrition.org/the-blogs/rice-isnt-nice

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/6/1745S

A study by The American Society for Nutritional Sciences showed that dietary rice decreases the amount of  taurine in whole blood and plasma in cats, and that despite the routine supplementation of commercial feline diets with taurine, cats continue to be diagnosed with taurine deficiency.

or this one:

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/124/12_Suppl/2546S.pdf

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/121/11_Suppl/S179.pdf

Although additional studies are needed to establish requirements in practical diets, the present data indicate that 1000 mg/kg DM for dry and between 2200 and 2500 mg/kg DM for canned products are appropriate taurine formulation guidelines for commercial cat foods.

ETA: I do supplement Taurine - I don't know if you all buy at NutraBio.com, but the Taurine they say is from Japan. (Ask before you buy to make sure they've not changed suppliers.) Supposed to be 100%pure free form l-taurine. Their ad claims: "pure pharmaceutical grade taurine, USP grade - USP26/JP8. This taurine is NON-GMO, BSE/TSE free, and is not treated in any way including irradiation and EtO."
http://www.nutrabio.com/Products/taurine.htm

Has anyone ever had a pfc actually answer you to tell you how much taurine on a dry matter basis is in a can of a specific flavor of theirs instead of spouting AAFCO min/max at you?
« Last Edit: February 12, 2010, 07:45:43 PM by Beyond Pissed » Logged

"If the pet food does not perform in the consumer's hands, then all of the advertising on earth will not be persuasive." Dr. R. Glenn Brown. Canadian Veterinary Journal, Volume 35, in April of 1994
Offy
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« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2010, 09:13:06 AM »

I forgot to include:
 
http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/reprint/121/11_Suppl/S179.pdf

 is a study by Nestec (Friskies)1990

"Therefore, cats fed canned diets appear to require twice as much dietary taurine to maintain normal plasma taurine concentrations than cats fed the dry diet.

The results of this trial illustrate a real difference between the ability of dry and canned cat food diets
to maintain taurine status in cats.
"

The ingredients in the food matter too.  Also, the amount of taurine needed (per this study) appears relative to the body weight of the cat.

"Despite consuming diets with less than one-half the DM taurine content, at the end of the trial the cats
fed the dry diets had similar or greater mean blood taurine levels than the cats fed the canned diets. This
could also be seen with individual cat taurine intakes.

"For example, 76% of the dry-diet-fed cats consuming >12 mg taurine/kg body weight (BW) had adequate
plasma taurine values (>50 pmol/L] at 10 wk. For the cats fed canned diets, a similar proportion (82%) of
cats having adequate plasma taurine was observed only at intakes of above 24 mg taurine/kg BW."

I find myself wishing so much to be able to get bloodwork done & have a nutritionist make recommendations (there's a website for that too). Then, one seems to be left with the dilemma presented when feeding commercial and the company's seeming recalcitrance in providing info needed to feed appropriate amounts of foods for the needed nutrition for a specific animal. The more I read, I begin to doubt that commercial pet food is as "one size fits all" nutritionally as some might think.

Seems it's more than breed specific foods (which is at least becoming more prominent), it's not about one individual animal's needs...it's the "general" rule of thumb. IMO, that may be the bottom line of nutrition in commercial foods that's impacting companion animal health. (Sigh, along with precious little science on nutrients minimums/maximums for the cats.. seems to be much more science on dog requirements.)

Maybe some research group can be encouraged to find out the actual levels of taurine in canned & dry pet foods - comparing similar ingredients and finding the levels present, comparing diets containing rice/grains- canned & dried, etc..
« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 09:35:57 AM by Beyond Pissed » Logged

"If the pet food does not perform in the consumer's hands, then all of the advertising on earth will not be persuasive." Dr. R. Glenn Brown. Canadian Veterinary Journal, Volume 35, in April of 1994
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« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2010, 09:28:00 AM »

Has anyone ever had a pfc actually answer you to tell you how much taurine on a dry matter basis is in a can of a specific flavor of theirs instead of spouting AAFCO min/max at you?

Any of the PFCs I've contacted for nutritional information, except Hills, has provided me with complete nutritional breakdowns of their food including all amino acids. Is this weird?
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petslave
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« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2010, 07:01:50 PM »

One thing that worries me about getting their nutritional breakdowns is that it's the numbers for one batch at some past point in time.  As we've seen, next week the new shipment of premix may come in and it may not produce the same test results.

One of the articles I read said that even if a cat tests with adequate taurine levels in the blood, other factors may prevent it from being utilized properly.  It is a good starting point though since it will show if the food is providing enough taurine.  If the blood levels are low, then it's time to send in the food for testing.
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bug
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RIP little angel Katey


« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2010, 07:18:57 PM »

Good point, petslave. It's difficult to get a handle on, though. I mean, Bones, Mia, Pip, Katey and Red all ate the same foods. Only Bones wound up with HCM (which isn't affected by taurine, apparently). I don't know if we're seeing a lot more DCM or if it's more HCM. It would be really interesting to talk to a researcher to see if there are any trends. I know my vet attended a conference that included a seminar on HCM and other than the genetic component, the jury is out on other causes. I wish I could have just added more taurine to Bones' diet and have the damage reversed.

I suppose because supplementing with taurine does no harm, one could just give extra powder in the food or as part of a multivitamin (providing the companies are reputable and the taurine isn't from China).
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My little babies, you'll always be in my heart. Mom will see you later. Look after each other, ok?
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« Reply #36 on: March 02, 2010, 10:40:07 PM »

And so many of present-day commercial petfood contain so many ingredients, most of which are there only because they sound "healthy" and wholistic to owners.  We forget that no one knows how all these ingredients inter-react with one another. One or more could have a negative impact on taurine.  And yes  I sadly agree that it is just a matter of time that  the taurine imported from China will be found to be deficient in some way, or worse, polluted with some toxic substance.

Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats.  In the wild, they get plenty of it from their prey's hearts; heads (especially the eyes); and legs...

Gee.. I take some supplements for my heart too, which includes taurine, arginine (a natural vasodilator) and Co-Q10, which has been shown to strengthen heart muscle tissues (and gums). 

How I wish taurine from Ajinomoto could still be available to the average consumer...

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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2010, 07:01:22 AM »

For the last two years, anyway, I've been using health food store human grade taurine
and chicken thigh meat as taurine supplements for my cats. Is that the best I can do?
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JJ
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« Reply #38 on: March 04, 2010, 12:32:49 AM »

3cats is the human grade sourced from here in the US or? EVO canned has taurine in it for dogs and have never seen it in a dog food before so maybe that is contributing to her coat getting thicker and softer?
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3catkidneyfailure
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« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2010, 09:28:07 AM »

JJ, the taurine is human grade, but the source -- well, from the label, it's don't ask.
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mainecoonpeg
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« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2010, 09:43:56 AM »

Taurine NOT from you know where..............

This is what I use for myself and my cats............

http://www.purecaps.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=TA11

You do not need to get this through a medical professional

This is where I buy mine from

http://willner.com/products.aspx
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JJ
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« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2010, 03:39:50 PM »

Thx Peg. Forgot about Country Life brand. Had contacted them before and they answer pretty quickly about where ingredients are from. purecaps site must be doing maint. or something cause it won't load to open. Tried linking from your post and also by searching for web address. Same thing.

You listed two sites - one that you use for yourself and your pets and then another one that you order from?
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Cato
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« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2010, 07:52:54 PM »

Thx Peg... might use that site to order next batch of taurine for myself and Cato.  I feed him raw, so even when I do not supplement, I have some comfort that he does get some taurine from the raw chicken legs and hearts
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mainecoonpeg
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« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2010, 10:54:56 PM »

JJ, the Pure Encapsulations site does not allow ordering by anyone but a medical professional.

I use the Willner site to get the Pure Encapsulations products for myself/cats.
They discount many products and they have wonderful people on hand to answer any questions.

There is also a show called the Willner Window on radio on Sundays.
It's one I find very informative and enjoy listening to......lots of information.  I believe the show can be heard around the country.

Cato   Cheesy  Wonderful to see you again.
Head kiss for your handsome boy Kiss
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JJ
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« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2010, 04:25:52 AM »

Thx Peg. Went back to the Pure Encapsulations and read that they only sell to medical professionals.
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Your blessings be more,
And nothing but happiness
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