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Fish-Flavored Cat Food and Hyperthyroidism

fish flavored

In a study funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science,[1] researchers found high levels of byproducts in cats’ blood samples likely came from fish-flavored cat foods and led to hyperthyroidism. The researchers also concluded that the cats’ hyperthyroidism was not caused by exposure to PCBs or PBDEs.

Since the 1980s, cats have been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism at an increasing rate. Though no exact cause has been identified, because previous research found traces of formaldehyde, PCBs and PBDEs and their byproducts in cat blood samples, they were thought to be a possible cause. Formaldehyde is contained in all furniture as a flame retardant and pressed wood products (this latter caused serious troubles for Lumberyard Liquidators). Recognized as hazardous, PBCs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are no longer manufactured in the US but remain present in the environment.[2] PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers are used as flame retardants in the US, but have been banned in many countries due to potential harm to humans.[3]

Challenging the notion that these chemicals were the cause, researchers tested cat food and blood samples from cats and also simulated how a feline’s body would process various PCB- and PBDE-related compounds. The researchers concluded that the byproducts that were detected at high levels in cats’ blood samples likely came from fish-flavored food and not exposure to PCBs or PBDEs. It is, however, more than likely that all of these man-made and toxic chemicals are, in combination, the cause. A sound diet of human-grade home-cooked food made primarily (90%) of meat protein and blended steamed vegetables is the healthiest diet. Some greats books, such as Dinners Pawsible by my favorite vet, Dr. Cathy Alinovi, and The whole Pet Diet: 8 Weeks to Great Health for Dogs and Cats, by Dr. Richard Pitcairnare available to help you feed your 4-legged properly.

By the way, I wasn’t picking on Meow Mix in particular, but did you happen to read its ingredients label? Here you go:

Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Animal Digest, Calcium Carbonate, Turkey By-Product Meal, Salmon Meal, Ocean Fish Meal, Phosphoric Acid, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement], Minerals [Ferrous Sulfate (Source of Iron), Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2, Rosemary Extract.

So, for cats which are carnivores, the first ingredient is “corn” and the second is “corn gluten meal”!!! Does that sound healthy? Sounds “fishy” to me (pun intended).

  1. Hazuki Mizukawa, Kei Nomiyama, Susumu Nakatsu, Hisato Iwata, Jean Yoo, Akira Kubota, Miyuki Yamamoto, Mayumi Ishizuka, Yoshinori Ikenaka, Shouta M. M. Nakayama, Tatsuya Kunisue, Shinsuke Tanabe.Organohalogen Compounds in Pet Dog and Cat: Do Pets Biotransform Natural Brominated Products in Food to Harmful Hydroxlated Substances?Environmental Science & Technology, 2016; 50 (1): 444 DOI: 1021/acs.est.5b04216
  2. http://www.nrdc.org/breastmilk/pcb.asp
  3. http://www.nrdc.org/breastmilk/pbde.asp
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