Understanding free radicals can help you choose the right cat food and provide the best care for your pet. Free radicals are a by-product of energy production within the body. A dog or cat's body can normally handle free radicals, but if the amount of free radicals becomes excessive or if sufficient antioxidants are not available to help, these free radicals could have detrimental effects on your pet's health.
What are free radicals? Free radicals are highly reactive, oxygen-containing molecules that can damage cell membranes, enzymes and even DNA. Your pet's nervous and immune systems are especially vulnerable. Free radicals are now considered a factor in the progression of disease and premature aging in dogs and cats.
What are antioxidants? Antioxidants (like the name anti-oxident-) neutralize these reactive oxygen containing molecules. Antioxidants for your dogs and cats are nutrients within food that help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. They are key when it comes to keeping your pet healhty. Common antioxidants include vitamins C and E. An abundance of antioxidants of different types are found in colorful fruits and vegetables. The right combination of antioxidants in cat or dog food can help make a difference in health.
How antioxidants help. The body's normal antioxidant defenses provide some protection against free radicals Dog and cat food rich in antioxidants, including vitamins E and C, beta-carotene and selenium, provide support for your dog or cat's natural defenses.
Most effective in combinations. The best antioxidant dog or cat food combines specific levels of key antioxidant vitamins E+C, selenium and beta-carotene to help support the immune system and help cells fight free radicals. A nutrionally complete and balanced food will have the best antioxidants for dogs and cats at optimal levels.
How Hill's® cat foods make a difference. The unique combination of antioxidants in Hill's clinically proven antioxidant formula can significantly reduce cellular oxidation by free radicals.1
If you're inclined to give your dogantioxidant supplements, another option is to find a Hill's food to help your dog ahieve optimal antioxidant levels to support health. Antioxidants are not just for dogs. Cats need them too. Foods with antioxidants support a healthy immune system, fight free radicals and maintain overall health for your cat.
¹Jewell DE, Friesen, K., Larson, L., Sharp, T., and Schultz R. Journal of Animal Science 2003. (81 Suppl 1) 261.
Vitamin E Helps neutralize free radicals that cause damage.
Vitamin C In-activates free radicals. Regenerates vitamin E, restoring its antioxidant activity.
Selenium An essential component of beneficial antioxidant enzymes.
Beta-carotene Scavenges free radicals and works together with vitamin E.