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The modern market of ready-made feeds is constantly replenished with new diets, including those for daily feeding of dogs and cats. Optimeal diets present in the market contain components able to support the immune status of animals, improve protection of the organism against effects of environmental pathogens - bacteria, viruses, pathogenic fungi - and improve metabolism for disease prevention.

The most significant metabolic diseases of dogs and cats in the veterinary medicine practice include non-specific inflammatory bowel diseases, obesity, osteoarthritis, various forms of allergic diseases of the skin and the gastrointestinal tract, urolithiasis, nephro-, hepato-, and pancreatiopathies [1]. Rational nutrition of animals has a huge preventive effect, it should contribute to maintenance of the functional status of the immune system [2]. The immune system of animals includes a large range of organs, tissues, and immunocompetent cells. Core organs of the immune system are the red bone marrow and thymus, peripheral ones - the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, lymphoid tissue of the digestive tract, cells of the central nervous system neuroglia, and skin. Support for the key barriers of the animal organism - the intestine and the skin - is of particular importance for normal functioning of organs and tissues, they ensure immune protection against effects of antigens. In the intestinal wall the largest amount of lymphoid tissue is concentrated, which has high immunological activity. Due to this, the gastrointestinal tract has congenital and acquired immunological sensitivity [3]. This sensitivity is manifested through the so-called oral tolerance - ability of the immune system to selectively recognize and ignore non-pathogenic antigens - microflora and food. Therefore, for prevention of diseases of the digestive system, the daily diet should contain the appropriate components that support the protective function of the intestinal wall. In Optimeal diets, these are β-glucan (intestinal wall macrophage activator), yeast-based prebiotics (mannanoligosaccharide), and rosemary-based herbal antioxidants able to support the normal state of the intestinal microflora.

β-glucans (MacroGard) are effective immunomodulators that are widely used in medical practice around the world [4]. Getting with food into the gastrointestinal tract of animals, β-glucans penetrate into the intestinal mucosa, the submucosal layer, where macrophages are activated, and through them - lymphocytes responsible for protection of the epithelium, i.e. for local immunity [5]. Due to the fact that activated lymphocytes are able to spread throughout the body and penetrate into mucous membranes of various organs, the protective function of the mucosal barrier of the organism against infectious agents - pathogenic bacteria and viruses - is thus activated [6]. Use of such an immunomodulator, I believe, is important for dogs and some domestic cats having the habit of eating bad waste and various types of food waste during walks. Thus, adding the MacroGuard supplement to Optimeal diets makes it possible to support the protective function of mucous membranes in dogs and cats with the daily ration and to increase the body's resistance to infectious diseases. The Actigen prebiotic, based on the outer layer of yeast cells containing mannanoligosaccharides, is capable of exhibiting antibacterial properties in the intestine. For it is known that oligosaccharides, even at low concentrations in feed, contribute to restoration of bacterial intestinal microflora in cats [7,8].

Another component of Optimeal rations is rosemary-based anti-oxidant complex (SubSTAR ULTRA). Rosemary extract is capable of improving metabolism, and has the property of suppressing activity of pathogenic fungi and bacteria [8, 9]. Amino acids that are part of rosemary (threonine, lysine, isoleucine, valine, tryptophan) have a positive effect on collagen and elastin metabolism - connective tissue proteins forming the basis of the musculoskeletal system organs, vessels, and skin. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (caprillin, laurin, myristinum, palmitic) and vitamins (β-carotene, tocopherol, vitamins B1, B2, B4, B6) in rosemary are able to suppress activity of pathogenic microorganisms (bacteria, viruses), they eliminate skin irritation, increase skin elasticity and hydration, stabilize protein component of plasma membranes, protecting the cells from damage. These properties of rosemary enhance non-specific resistance of the organism to bacteria and viruses, as well as contribute to strengthening of the skin barrier. Consequently, maintenance of the functional status of the immune system of dogs and cats is impossible without presence in the daily diet of appropriate substances of fungal and plant origin, which can have a positively effect on the immunological function of the gastrointestinal tract and skin.






Activation of macrophage cells

of the mucous membrane of the intestine

Inhibition of pathogenic bacteria growth

in the intestine

Protection of cells of the organism against

damage by free radicals

Improvement of the protective function of the gastrointestinal tract to promote restoration of the normal intestinal microflora, enhancement of non-specific resistance of animals' organism



Author: Morozenko D.V. , PhD in Veterinary, practicing doctor of veterinary medicine, gastroenterologist, clinic of veterinary medicine "PES+KOT", Kharkiv



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