Image Source: Staticflickr.com/
It’s an accepted fact that nutritious food plays a key role in helping pets, such as dogs, stay healthy. However, researchers have now found out that a nutritious diet has a bigger role to play. Apparently, consuming a healthy diet can affect the way genes are expressed within the human body.Nutrigenomics
Nutrigenomics or nutritional genomics refers to the area of science involving the study of nutrition and genetics. To put it simply, scientists in this field study how the nutrients in food cause genes to express themselves. Genes are basically pieces of information located in the DNA of an animal. This DNA is something we inherit from our parents and that’s exactly how it works for dogs as well. In order for the information to serve a purpose, it needs to be turned into protein. The body regulates the protein levels by down-regulating certain genes and up-regulating others. This process can prove to be either beneficial or problematic. For example, if there is a high turn up of genes responsible for inflammation, the dog will have significant issues concerning inflammation.The field of Nutrigenomics is now helping pet food producers create pet foods that are specifically altered to offer nutrients that can modify gene expression. In other words, we can now make sure that genes express themselves healthily. As a result, your pet benefits from enjoying a healthier life.Nutrigenomics and weight loss
Canine obesity is one area that researchers are currently focusing on. According to Kara M. Burns, a nutrition technician, it is now possible and easier to understand the various mechanisms involved in preventing or treating obesity and its associated conditions. This is done by implementing genomics and measuring traditional biomarkers. In the case of obese dogs, experts state that there is a major difference in the way genes express themselves, especially when compared to lean dogs.Now, with the help of Nutrigenomics, pet food manufacturers can identify the right ingredient combinations to alter the metabolism of an obese pet. This can be done by altering their gene expression to emulate the gene expression of a healthier pet. In layman’s terms, we can now change the metabolism of an obese dog to burn fat rather than to store fat. However, it is still a safer bet to rely on the advice of your veterinarian regarding your dog’s diet. Vets are trained professionals and they possess excellent knowledge concerning canine nutrition. They are well versed with therapeutic treatments, as well as the latest scientific research.A healthy diet has always been the best way to combat obesity, even before Nutrigenomics came into play. So, feed your dog healthy, nutritious food and you can be sure he/she will stay fit and fine.