Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Health (not to be substituted for qualified vet advice) => Feline Heart Disease => Topic started by: catbird on February 05, 2010, 06:51:36 PM



Title: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: catbird on February 05, 2010, 06:51:36 PM
For the past few weeks I have been pondering the question of whether feline heart disease is on the increase.  This thinking was triggered by the fact that we have lost several cats to heart disease within a little over six months, just among regular posters on this forum--bug (Bones), JustMe (Twit), petslave (Mia and possibly Tony.)  There may be others that I am not remembering.  Yes, heart problems like this are common in domestic cats, but in most cases they don't become severe until the cat is in the geriatric age range, around 15 and over.  These were relatively young cats; one was only 8, in early middle age.  In several cases, the onset and deaths were sudden, and any previously documented heart problems were not severe.  It seemed unusual that there would be so many feline deaths related to heart disease within such a small group of people, in such a short period of time.

There are many factors that can cause heart disease in cats--genetics, infection, dental disease, chemical exposure.  One of the major factors, however, is diet.  Feline heart disease had decreased markedly since taurine started being added to commercial cat foods decades ago.  For those cats with diagnosed heart disease, taurine is often recommended to help treat the condition and prevent or slow worsening.

So I began thinking further.  In the past few years we have heard about fake wheat gluten imported from China--it was wheat flour spiked with melamine.  We have heard of fake heparin imported from China.  Well, almost all taurine is imported from China.

Could a similar tragedy have been going on with our cats' food in relation to taurine?  What if, like fake wheat gluten, there was fake taurine being added to pet food, not meeting the known need for taurine, and causing or exacerbating heart problems for our cats?  It would be a perfect situation to go un-noticed.  Cats get heart disease.  At first the melamine went un-noticed, too, because kidney failure in pets is a pretty common problem.  We know from experience that there is really no effective central reporting agency that tracks veterinary diagnoses like the CDC does for people.  So an increase in cat heart disease would very likely slip under the radar.

This was just a speculation, although it seemed a possible scenario to me.  And then one of our researchers pointed me towards some resources, and look what was there:


http://www.iealing.com/tn/consignee/2008/C/CHEMNUTRAINC10.html

Changshu Yudong Chemical Co.
Wangshi Hayiu Town Changshu City Jiangsu Province China

ChemNutra Inc
10396 Noontide Ave. Las Vegas, NV

Bill of Lading UPSPSHA0800600696

Arrival 6-23-2008

Weight 269200 KG

Quantity 2720 CTN

Out of Shanghai, into Los Angeles

Taurine


http://www.iealing.com/tn/consignee/2008/C/CHEMNUTRAINC81.html

Changshu Yudong Chemical Co.
Wangshi Hayiu Town Changshu City Jiangsu Province China

ChemNutra Inc.
810 South Durango Drive Suite #120
Las Vegas, NV

Bill of Lading UPSPSHA08090247

Arrival 9-15-2008

Weight 69200 KG

Quantity 2720 CTN

Out of Shanghai, to Los Angeles

Taurine


http://www.iealing.com/tn/consignee/2008/C/CHEMNUTRAINCCN81.html

Jiangsu Yuanyang Chemical-Cn
Zhitang Town Changshu Cn

Chemnutra Inc.-Cn
810 South Durango Drive Suite #120
Las Vegas, NV

Arrival 6-15-2008

Weight 17300 KG

Quantity 680 PCS

From Shanghai to Long Beach, CA

17,000 kgs Taurine Origin: China this shipment....

So in 2008 ChemNutra was busily importing taurine from China!  And given their past relationships with pet food companies, how much do you want to bet that some of the pet food companies were getting their taurine from ChemNutra, either directly or indirectly through middlemen?  We know ChemNutra brought in fake wheat gluten.  Is it too much of a stretch to think they might have brought in fake taurine, too?

Fake taurine imported in 2008 would be perfect timing to have affected the cats I mentioned above.  Give it a few months to get into the canned food supply, the cats eat it in 2008-2009, don't get enough of what they need for an extended period of time, and develop or worsen heart problems.  So in the beginning of 2010 we have what happened to the poor cats I listed above.

It seems possible to me that lightning may have struck twice.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: caylee on February 05, 2010, 06:58:04 PM
Hummmm . . .says caylee.  ???


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: menusux on February 05, 2010, 07:21:04 PM
Most of you are aware that ChemNutra morphed into Eos Direct about a year ago.  For anyone who needs to see the "smoking gun" on that, here it is:

http://whois.domaintools.com/eosdirect.com

Registrant:
Chemnutra
   810 S Durango
   Las Vegas, NV 89145
   US

   Domain Name: EOSDIRECT.COM

   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:   steve.miller@chemnutra.com   
      810 S Durango
      Las Vegas, NV 89145
      US
      702-799-9800

   Record expires on 25-Feb-2010.
   Record created on 20-Feb-2009.

   Domain servers in listed order:

   NS97.WORLDNIC.COM            205.178.190.49
   NS98.WORLDNIC.COM            205.178.144.49


Checking the Eos Direct website today found it's currently offline, but we can have a look at one of its pages via Google cache from December 31, 2009.

http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:OrCCchHsSfkJ:www.eosdirect.com/quality.html+eos+direct&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us (http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:OrCCchHsSfkJ:www.eosdirect.com/quality.html+eos+direct&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us)

EOS Direct, LLC
(702) 997-9550

"Safety, Value, Quality
 
"EOS Direct is committed to consistently sourcing food, pet food, and nutritional ingredients to ensure the best safety, value and highest quality of the final product.  Our technical professionals and resources can assist our customers with knowledge of raw materials effects on product quality.

"We are also an innovative partner in managing the safety of the ingredients we source through the use of technology for traceability and third-party audits of the manufacturers we represent
.

"Our third-party auditor is a privately held U.S. corporation with almost 20 years of hands-on experience in performing inspections in Asia with the most highly trained team of inspectors. This 100% dedicated inspection company focuses entirely on pre-shipment inspection, factory and supplier audits and laboratory testing."

In the year since Eos Direct has been in operation, what types of products has it been working with?

http://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/Buyers-Guide.aspx?li=64675

EOS Direct
10181 Park Run Drive, Ste. 110
Howard Hughes Plaza
Las Vegas, NV 89145
Phone: (702)997-9550
Fax: (702)997-9551

Web: www.eosdirect.com

Contact: Stephanie Bitters
Email: stephanie@eosdirect.com

EOS Direct LLC is an importer of bulk ingredients from China, including taurine, L-cysteine and glycine. We specialize in various energy drink ingredients, including glucuronolactone and caffeine, as well as phosphates, potassium sorbate and thiamine.

EOS Direct offers the following products and/or services:
Ingredient Suppliers

Related Components
Sweeteners, Non-nutritive
Specialty
Creatine
Inositol
L-Alanine
L-Arginine
L-Cystine
L-Histindine
L-Isoleucine
L-Leucine
L-Taurine
L-Tyrosine
Vitamins
Inositol
Thiamin (B1)
Vitamin C
Vitamin K
Quality Control
Use Independent Analytical Lab
Provide Certificates of Analysis

ISO Certified
Offer Facility Tours
Certified Kosher
Have SOPs


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: petslave on February 05, 2010, 07:29:40 PM
I've really been wondering the same thing catbird.  For my cats, they were on mostly homemade, but I did feed more canned toward the end of last year.  I've wondered if the taurine I'm using in my homemade may be "bad" (inactive or inadequate), or the canned food's taurine could be bad.

From some of the results I've seen on tests of human supplements, it seems like it's rather common for them to test below the stated levels on the bottle.  Then you have the pet food companies that use who knows what brand & quality.  And we've seen a number of cases of too much/too little of supplements in pet food - thiamine, Vit D for example.  So it happens, and it seems to happen too frequently.

Some cats seem to be more sensitive to low taurine levels too, so it may not be obvious if taurine levels are inadequate in foods.  I'm going to try adding undercooked chicken hearts in my next batch of cat food.  


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: catbird on February 05, 2010, 07:36:15 PM
I've been feeding my cats turkey hearts regularly for months now, to provide natural taurine, because I don't trust what's in the pet food I feed them.  I have had cats for a very long time, and had only one with heart disease, who was 19 years old when serious problems became evident.  Now in the past four years, I've had two cats suddenly come up with heart disease, diagnosed when they were 9 and 10 years old.  Something is not right.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure on February 05, 2010, 07:49:04 PM
Wouldn't this just be an additional new horror from all-get-out? I realize it's supposition, but
it sounds so likely. And the coincidence of local and international suppliers is just spooky.
I wish there was somebody trustworthy to ask to check.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Steve on February 05, 2010, 08:08:42 PM
Most of you are aware that ChemNutra morphed into Eos Direct about a year ago.  For anyone who needs to see the "smoking gun" on that, here it is:

So how is it the Millers are as of today banned from the business yet their "shadow company" EOS Direct continues doing business as usual?  Boy this stinks to high heaven.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug on February 05, 2010, 08:17:31 PM
Just the other day, a colleague of mine's cat died and it sounded, by her description of what happened, that it was heart failure. She was 13 and had a clean bill of health not too long ago. She didn't want to have a necropsy done. That got me wondering about this spike in heart disease as well. I wasn't really thinking about Taurine, though, as hypertrophic and restrictive cardiomyopathy aren't affected by the supplementation with taurine.

I have had several conversations with Dr. Dan Hogan, who is conducting the FATCAT study, three veterinarians and Dr. Theresa DeFrancesco (a renowned researcher in the area of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) who have all confirmed, among other things, that there is no evidence of therapeutic effect of taurine in anything but dilated cardiomyopathy. Having said that, my vets pretty much said if I wanted to supplement, it probably wouldn't hurt.

Of course, just because there isn't evidence, doesn't mean anyone has gone looking for it.

In Bones' case, he was found at a year of age, starving, literally skin and bones. He then ate his way to a weight problem and was slowly losing his excess fat when we discovered his condition by accident. Did his early malnutrition affect his heart? I think so. Did his weight problem contribute to his heart's early demise. I think so. In the years he was with me, he had been fed a multitude of foods: wet, dry and people food. I would find it hard to swallow that every food I fed was deficient in taurine or some other critical nutrient when all of the testing we've seen has shown over-supplementation.

I sometimes think that there really isn't an increase in this problem, there's just more awareness, more people doing testing, the Internet to connect all of us and make it seem like this is an epidemic and more cats on medication. I think, in the past, cats would just die and we wouldn't know why. We just accepted it, but they always had this vulnerability.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: petslave on February 05, 2010, 08:23:13 PM
Just great, read the 3rd comment down on here, the Dec 30, 09 post:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/royal_canin.html

If it is happening with one, it's most likely happening with others.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: catbird on February 05, 2010, 08:28:41 PM
Yes, this shows that at least one brand of food was taurine-deficient.  And as we learned to our horror three years ago, where there is one, there are likely to be many.

Good but disturbing find, petslave.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure on February 05, 2010, 08:30:30 PM
From 2007 research on homemade pet food, this study from UC Davis to add taurine
naturally to cat's diet:

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmb/aal/reference_papers/spitze.pdf

Taurine concentrations in animal feed ingredients; cooking
influences taurine content


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug on February 05, 2010, 08:32:45 PM
Holy cow. This person should post the test results from Davis on several animal-related websites and they should contact a bunch of media outlets to see if they could get an investigation. I refuse to feed my cats anything Mars cranks out. Never have, never will. End of rant.

Now, just the mere fact that this food is rabbit-based would tell you it was practically devoid of taurine. If RC has a standard premix that they add to all of their foods in the same quantity, it would explain why this particular variety was woefully deficient in that nutrient. You have to essentially supplement ALL of the taurine in rabbit-based foods because that is the one meat that pretty much has none naturally.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure on February 05, 2010, 08:37:49 PM
Could one ask those of you who lost cats to heart problems what foods were being eaten?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: menusux on February 05, 2010, 08:41:44 PM
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Safety/Recalls/EnforcementReports/UCM177134.pdf

Page 261

FDA Enforcement Report August 12 2009

RECALLS AND FIELD CORRECTIONS: VETERINARY - CLASS II
___________________________________
PRODUCT
1) Custom Mix Natural Max Cat Trace Mineral Premix; Net Weight 22.7 kg, 50 lb. bags; for further manufacturing use only; Nutro Code: 237047, Recall # V-253-2009;
2) Custom Mix Max Cat IND AD Chicken Base Mix; Net Weight 22.7 kg, 50 lb. bags; for further manufacturing use only; Nutro Code: 236621, Recall # V-254-2009

CODE
1) Lot #’s 1534521 through 1606708;
2) Lot #’s 1540966 through 1589684
RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER
Trouw Nutrition USA, LLC, Highland, IL, by telephone on May 19, 2009. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.
REASON
The premix has high zinc levels and lower potassium levels than expected. The base mix has lower potassium levels than expected.

VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE
98,499.24 kg
DISTRIBUTION
CA, TN

As Bug said, RC is Mars, just like Nutro....


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: petslave on February 05, 2010, 08:44:04 PM
Good point about the rabbit, bug.  And I just read that canned foods need more taurine added than dry.  I'm wondering if we should have some of the foods we're using tested at an amino acid lab.

Further down in those comments, someone had a Vit D excess problem in 08, which I didn't hear about either.  There was a major one around 06, so it sounds like they had another problem with it more recently.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Steve on February 05, 2010, 08:52:50 PM
SHIPPER
CHANGSHU YUDONG CHEM FACTORY
WANGSHI HAIYU TOWN CHANGSHU CITY JIANGSU GU

CONSIGNEE
EOS DIRECT,LLC.
9811 W CHARLESTON BLVD,SUITE 2501 LAS VAGAS NV 89117 US

ARRIVAL DATE
2009-03-30

CARGO WEIGHT
34600 KG . . (76279.9 Pounds)  (38 Tons)

http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:5ksMABvAHyAJ:www.importgenius.com/importers/eos-direct-llc.html+EOS+DIRECT,LLC.&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a

Taurine 107-35-7, Suppliers of Taurine--Online Chemical Supplier ...
Changshu Renoke Food-additive Science CO.,LTD(Changshu Yudong Chemical CO., LTD. ... Address: No.88, Yingbin Rd. Wangshi Haiyu Town Changshu City Jiangsu



Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug on February 05, 2010, 09:00:38 PM
3cat, Bones, over the years here, had been eating dry: Iams, Purina One, Orijen, Acana, Go, Felidae, TOTW, Hills r/d. Since 2007, it was Orijen and Acana for the most part. Wet: Go, Holistic Select, Wellness, EVO, Nature's Variety, Hills a/d, Medi-Cal, Felidae, Evangers, Performatrin Ultra,  (before the Mars takeover). Pip, Mia and Katey have all been on the same food in the same period of time and they don't have a heart condition. Mia's heart was confirmed healthy when she had her MRI in 2008. Bones' condition was confirmed to be hypertrophic c. by ultrasound. Pip had a temporarily enlarged heart and went into congestive heart failure in 2004, but we're not sure why. It was fine after we got the fluid off (vets were betting on heartworm).


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: petslave on February 05, 2010, 09:21:10 PM
Does anyone know if the standard diagnostic techniques pick up the differences in the types of heart problems in cats?  I'm sure the more specialized ones would, but I'm wondering if a vet at a regular practice can tell the difference between dialated, hypertrophic, etc.  If not, they may be diagnosing on the assumption it wouldn't be food-related, when it could be.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: catbird on February 05, 2010, 09:27:08 PM
I think you need an echocardiogram and a cardiologist to tell the difference between the different types.  A regular vet exam, or even an ECG, won't tell you enough.  You need images of the heart to see where the problems are.

Echoes are a pretty expensive procedure, and I'd bet a lot of people don't opt for them.  Case in point, an acquaintance of mine had a cat who suddenly collapsed last year and then died some months later.  A heart problem was diagnosed when he first collapsed, and he was put on meds based on the physical exam and blood pressure, but an echo was never done.

I'd say you are likely right in your thinking, petslave.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JJ on February 05, 2010, 10:07:26 PM
catbird would this mean that there could be food that people are feeding that is deficient in taurine (levels waaayyy too low) that are harming the cats hearts? Since you posted this thread I also thought back over the fact that too many of our members babies have gone to the bridge in such a short time. Have felt that for past few weeks.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Sandi K on February 05, 2010, 11:31:37 PM
catbird, nothing would surprise me anymore.  There is so little testing and quality control required by any of these companies from what Ive seen, it seems to me it would be so easy for something like this to happen. 


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JustMe on February 06, 2010, 05:20:41 AM
Does anyone know if the standard diagnostic techniques pick up the differences in the types of heart problems in cats?  I'm sure the more specialized ones would, but I'm wondering if a vet at a regular practice can tell the difference between dialated, hypertrophic, etc.  If not, they may be diagnosing on the assumption it wouldn't be food-related, when it could be.

This link has some information under "Diagnosis of congestive heart failure in cats" about diagnostic studies.

http://www.vetinfo.com/feline-congestive-heart-failure-symptoms.html

If there is a significant murmur, might be best to get an echocardiogram/ultrasound of the heart.  I've been unable to talk to my vet about the Cardiopet proBNP blood test to see if he can run that.  I'm very interested in starting with that before running any ultrasounds.   The BNP test (brain natriuretic peptide or B-type natriuretic peptide) is routinely run in human ER's when heart disease is suspected or known.



Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Offy on February 06, 2010, 06:22:09 AM
I found an article with HCM & DCM to read to help me understand the differences:

http://www.neamc.com/aec_wvh_web/client%20library/feline__hypertrophic__cardiomyop.htm

Another thought is to look at the requirements of cats in amino acids to see if they impact HCM/DCM:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1399&aid=2575

Did any of the cats also have thyroid issues?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JustMe on February 06, 2010, 06:31:36 AM
Did any of the cats also have thyroid issues?

Twit had very recently been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Offy on February 06, 2010, 07:02:22 AM
The vet was worried that Ling at an awfully young age is showing signs of Hyper-T. I haven't been able to do the blood work , so I can't really help much but give one of the links I'd collected (which increased my worries).

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6540256

"The study showed that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy develops in most hyperthyroid cats, some of which also develop congestive heart failure. Although the signs of heart disease in primary myocardial disease and thyrotoxic disease are similar, the characteristic signalment and clinical signs of hyperthyroidism should lead one to suspect the association of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with the hyperthyroidism."


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JustMe on February 06, 2010, 08:21:16 AM
We also need to look at what amount of MSG (monosodium glutamate) is in pet food.  I have found several links that claim MSG can cause taurine deficiency.  Still looking for links that I would consider authoritative, however, this articles also mentions the possible role of bacteria in taurine deficiency.

http://www.ehow.com/how-does_4731002_what-causes-taurine-deficiency.html


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug on February 06, 2010, 06:12:36 PM
BP, one could only hope that if a cat is diagnosed with HCM, they would also be diagnosed with hyperthyroidism because if you cure the latter, you also cure the former. I had Bones tested for hyperthyroidism and unfortunately, he didn't have it. He also didn't have hypertension, which would be another contributor.

Vets can also see an enlarged heart on an x-ray but it isn't always evident. Veterinary ultrasonographers can distinguish between types of cardiomyopathies from the measurements they take and the thickness of the myocardial layers on the echo.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JJ on February 07, 2010, 12:46:42 AM
JM how would one know which food contains MSG - it is not listed on the labels, unless its one of those 'natural flavors' listings that have nothing after it to tell you what they mean by those words?

Is that what's in kitty crack - a ton of MSG. KFC all their food is loaded with it and that's what makes one eat so much and want more is this MSG.

So food is deficient in taurine and loaded with MSG?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: raggiesrule on February 08, 2010, 01:45:14 AM
Geez this is scarey and none of us need it happening again. Wondering how long the FDA will take to do something about the inadequate Taurine levels in the RC - that is just negligence on part of the company (regardless of what they think). I will be sending an email to the breeder rep here about this matter as it is very concerning as is the company's response. This is not about you blaming a company for your cats beig sick. This is about cats dying of DCM and you having lab tests that clearly show the food is deficient in Taurine.

And has already been said if it is happening to one comapny it will be happening to more.



Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure on February 08, 2010, 01:34:39 PM
Ricky Fund for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Research

Do you know a cat affected by heart disease? The most common feline heart disease is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Cardiomyopathy is a term that means disease of the heart muscle. While many cats will live a normal life with HCM, others will suffer devastating consequences of the disease, such as heart failure, paralysis due to blood clot formation, and death. Unfortunately, few effective treatments are available for this common disease of cats. HCM is also a disease of humans, affecting about one in every 500 people. Sadly, only a tiny fraction of all HCM research funding goes to help cats. You can change that!

In June 2002, Winn announced the creation of the Ricky Fund, set up to accept donations specifically for HCM research. Steve Dale is a nationally syndicated pet columnist, radio show host and now a Winn board member. Steve created the research fund in memory of his Devon Rex cat, Ricky, who died of HCM. During a routine physical examination at one year of age, Ricky's veterinarian detected a heart murmur, and Ricky was eventually diagnosed with HCM. Sadly, Ricky died too young, at the age of four. In one of his columns, Steve wrote, "Ricky was a very small cat, but the hole he left in our hearts is enormous. Our house seems empty without him."

The Ricky Fund has raised tens of thousands of dollars for HCM research, and has funded studies evaluating issues such as the genetics of HCM and potential therapies. With Valentine's Day not far off, you can do something good for the heart and join Steve in the fight against HCM by donating today to the Ricky Fund.

Examples of Ricky Fund Projects


Anticoagulant effects of low molecular weight heparin in normal cats: University of Pennsylvania; 2003.

Effect of pirfenidone on myocardial fibrosis and diastolic function in feline familial HCM: University of California, Davis; 2005

Molecular evaluation of the feline alpha tropomyosin gene in Norwegian Forest, Sphynx, Siberian, Ragdoll and Maine Coon cats with familial HCM: Washington State University; 2008

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: five year outcomes and risk assessment: The Animal Medical Center; 2009

http://us1.campaign-archive.com/?u=415b3f2ea14ea9e3390df93aa&id=bcfb359858&e=1a27a27aa1




Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: catbird 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!


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Offy 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?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Offy 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..


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug 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?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: petslave 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.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: bug 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).


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Cato 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...



Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure 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?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JJ 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?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: 3catkidneyfailure 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.


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: mainecoonpeg 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


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JJ 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?


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: Cato 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


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: mainecoonpeg 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   :D  Wonderful to see you again.
Head kiss for your handsome boy :-*


Title: Re: Could fake taurine be responsible for an increase in feline heart disease?
Post by: JJ 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.