Keeping canine eyes healthy through supplementation(study)

lunas-eyes-and-the-snow-flakes-1133707_960_720Dog owners are on a constant quest to give their canine companions whatever is available to ensure their long-term health.  We reported on a study, not too long ago, that showed a link between zinc/antioxidant supplementation and improvement of problematic behavior.  Now a new study from the Journal of Nutritional Science has linked antioxidant supplementation to improved visual function and health in dogs!

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The study used a total of 12 adult beagles that had healthy vision as determined by an ophthalmic evaluation conducted before the study began.

The dogs in the study were given free access to indoor and outdoor areas and were fed individually to maintain body weights. Which was monitored to keep the participants within 10% of their starting body weight.

Nutritional composition of dry and wet foods
Nutritional composition of dry and wet foods

The control food used was a nutritionally complete and balanced dry dog food that was fed twice daily for the duration of the study.  The experimental group of dogs received an antioxidant supplement blend containing 20mg lutein, 5mg zeaxanthin, 20mg β-carotene, 5mg astaxanthin, 180mg vitamin C, and 336mg vitamin E with cellulose as the blending medium.  The supplement was administered in a small quantity of canned food.

The results of the study showed “that antioxidants can have significant effects on retinal function, as measured by ERG, and on delaying visual impairment as measured by auto-refractor.”

The authors also showed that antioxidant supplementation serves to improve and protect a dog’s eyes even if they are already healthy.

The results obtained lead the authors to suggest “that even in healthy dogs with normal eyes, a better retinal response can be obtained with antioxidant supplementation. Dogs, much like humans, experience retinal functional and visual functional decline with age. Antioxidant supplementation may be beneficial and effective in the long-term preservation and improvement of retinal function and the slowing of refractive error changes associated with ageing in dogs.”

For more information or to read the full study visit here