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Author Topic: Iodine levels in English please  (Read 5109 times)
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KathyFitz
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« on: March 24, 2012, 05:30:18 AM »

I am trying to find information, in plain English, about iodine levels in canned cat foods.  There is only one article I've been able to find which is the result of research done in Germany, but I am not a medical or veterinary professional and cannot understand much of the article.  What I'm looking for is a comprehensive LIST of cat food brands and each brand/flavor's iodine level.  Does such a thing exist?  With the prevalence of feline thyroid issues these days it's amazing to me that there is so little info available about iodine levels.  I guess the food companies are trying to keep it quiet.  I've been told that the Hill's Y/D is successful in treating hyperthyroid in cats because they have lowered the amount of iodine in the food.  So I guess that means that all the other foods are what's causing the issues to begin with?

I also need to know what is an acceptable level of iodine in food for a cat with hyperthyroid?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 08:00:57 AM by KathyFitz » Logged

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catbird
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2012, 08:27:52 AM »

Hi and welcome, KathyFitz.  As you probably know, while the Hill's food is supposed to reduce thyroid over-activity by restricting iodine, this comes at the cost of depriving the body of the iodine needed for other body functions.  For that reason, feline endocrine experts do not recommend the Hill's food except as a last resort.  This does not necessarily mean that too much iodine causes or exacerbates hyperthyroidism in cats; the etiology of the disease is not well understood.  Both too much and too little iodine in foods have been blamed, along with BPA, flame retardants, and other factors, in various studies.  So restricting iodine in a healthy cat would not necessarily prevent hyperthyroidism, and the other foods are not necessarily what is causing the issues.  How much iodine should be in the diet of a hyperthyroid cat being treated by medication is still an open issue, also.

Now to your question about information on iodine levels:  I've not seen a specific list of brand levels anywhere so far.  What I would suggest is that you go to the websites of various foods you are interested in, find the Contact Us link, and ask about the specific iodine content of the foods.  Many members here have been successful in finding out about various nutrient levels in this manner.  You could then compile your own list regarding iodine.  And I'm sure that many people here would find such a list interesting, if you would care to share it.

I have a hyperthyroid cat myself.
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KathyFitz
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 11:01:21 AM »

Yes, thank you. I don't necessarily want to restrict all iodine, but would at least like to stear clear of those foods with higher levels.  A hyperthyroid is already producing enough iodine on its own. In addition, what good is filling him with Methimazol if on the other hand I'm feeding him high levels of the very thing that we're trying to control, you know?  It's frustrating because there is so little info available, and there seems to be a contradiction to everything that IS available.  I've gotten bad information from a number of people and places, and I worry that the pet food companies will not want to give out accurate information anyhow, for fear of opening themselves up to liability.  Even more difficult, it seems that the more junky the food is, the more my cat seems to like it! Roll Eyes  Thanks for your help.  If I come up with a list I will post it here.
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catbird
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 02:04:29 PM »

To clear up a little confusion for readers who may not be familiar with the subject:  Hyperthyroid does not produce iodine.  The thyroid uses iodine to produce its hormones, most notably the hormone called T4.  In hyperthyroid cats, there is a tumor that produces too much of the T4 and other thyroid hormones.  Why the tumor grows in the first place, no one is really sure.  It is the tumor that causes the problems by making too much T4, and the excessive T4 puts the cat's body into overdrive.

The Hill's diet supposedly "works" by severely restricting the amount of iodine, so the thyroid tumor does not have the raw material it needs to make T4.

KathyFitz, I've found several of the reputable pet food companies to be very forthcoming with this type of nutrient analysis info when asked directly.  Although they may ask you not to publish the full analysis if they sent it to you, I don't think they'd have any big problem with having their values listed in a table with other foods.  I've seen quite a few such tables with phosphorus levels (important in relation to cats with CKD), for example.

AAFCO standards set a minimum amount of iodine, but no maximum:

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1399&aid=657
« Last Edit: March 24, 2012, 02:06:43 PM by catbird » Logged

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
Mandycat
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 10:34:38 PM »

Kathy,
As catbird already said, hyperthyroid cats are NOT producing iodine. Iodine is necessary for the thyroid to produce T4, which is the main thyroid hormone necessary for the normal functioning.  A cat who is hyperthyroid has a benign tumor on the thyroid called an adenoma.  These adenoma cells function independent from the normal thyroid function and produce abnornally high amounts of T4, and that is why causes the cat to be hyper-T.  Methimazole blocks this production of abnormal amounts of T4 so that a normal level of it can be maintained in the cat's body.  Methimazole has nothing to do with iodine.  It appears that you have a need for some good information about hyperthyroidism in cats.  I recommend that you read the articles at these two blog sites.  These are the sites of Dr. Mark E. Peterson, who is a renowned veterinary endocrinologist, and the one who first described feline hyperthyroidism in 1979.  You will find information on every aspect of this disease, and you can rest assured that the information is accurate.  On each of these sites, look at the list of subject areas on the right side of the page and click on "hyperthyroidism".  You can scroll through all of the articles and read what you are interested in learning about.  There is also information in some of the articles about Hill's y/d food for hyperthyroidism and why it is not a very good food for hyperthyroid cats because of negative effects on the overall health of cats.  It is considered to be a last resort treatment if the other options do not work or are not appropriate for a particular cat. 

        http://animalendocrine.blogspot.com

        http://endocrinevet.blogspot.com

You may be interested in joining a forum specifically for support and help with managing your hyper-T cat.  This is an excellent group.

        http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/feline-hyperT/
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KathyFitz
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 06:13:01 AM »

O.K., thank you all! I will check out the links you sent and try to get my facts straight.  Appreciate your help!
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