By Dr. Jeannie Thomason
Enzyme Robbing in Dogs.
What does that mean?
When enzymes that are required for the digestive process are not available within the food being eaten, the digestive system has to “steel or rob” the metabolic enzymes that are produced in the major organs (heart, liver, kidney, etc.) to aid in digesting the meal. Robbing enzymes from various organs of the body that they themselves need to function properly will eventually have a detrimental effect on those organs. This is called enzyme robbing.
Dogs and cats, being carnivores, do not have naturally occurring enzymes in their saliva to begin the digestion process in the mouth like omnivores or herbivores do.
An enzyme called amylase, is produced in the mouth/saliva of Omnivores and herbivores. it is there to start the break-down process of carbohydrates and starches. However, amylase is not present in the saliva of carnivorous animals.
Since carnivores do not produce amylase in their saliva, when our dogs and cats are fed vegetables, starches and carbohydrates, this places a heavy burden entirely on the pancreas, forcing it to produce large amounts of amylase to attempt to digest starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates in plant matter. The carnivore’s pancreas also, does not secrete cellulase to split the cellulose into glucose molecules, nor have dogs become efficient at digesting and assimilating and utilizing plant material as a source of high quality protein. Herbivores do those sorts of things. Canine and Feline Nutrition Case, Carey and Hirakawa Published by Mosby, 1995
When cooked/processed foods, grains or vegetables are fed to our carnivore companions, their stomachs immediately recognizes that there are no enzymes present in what they just swallowed and that there is not enough naturally occurring enzymes in the stomach to break these things down.
Heating or cooking raw ingredients at the temperature of only 117 degrees for just three minutes, deleterious changes begin and progressively cause increased nutritional damage as temperatures are increased or as they are applied over prolonged periods of time:
*100% of enzymes are damaged, the body’s enzyme potential is depleted which drains energy needed to maintain and repair tissue and organ systems, thereby shortening the life span.
*30% to 50% of vitamins and minerals are destroyed
*high temperatures denature protein molecular structure, leading to deficiency of some essential amino acids
*overly heated fats generate numerous carcinogens including acrolein, nitrosamines, hydrocarbons, and benzopyrene (one of the most potent cancer-causing agents known)
In an attempt to digest the “dead” food now in the dog’s (or cat’s) stomach, the stomach sends out messages to the brain that then stimulates it to “send” enzymes from other parts of the body to the stomach to assist in digestion. Enzymes are then gathered (robbed) from the heart, liver, kidneys and other parts of the body and transported to the stomach. While this process is taking place, the food sits in the stomach undigested while the various major organs are being ˜robbed“ of their enzymes in order to accomplish digestion. This process is called “enzyme robbing” because it steals the enzymes from other body organs, enzymes that those organs require to function correctly themselves.
Over time, depletion of enzymes can cause imbalance and dis-ease in the organs from which the enzymes were robbed.
This “enzyme robbing” process does not happen when you feed your dog or cat raw (live) species specific foods, i.e. meat, bones, organs, glands. These raw carnivore specific foods contain their own enzymes and eliminates the need for the stomach to “rob” enzymes from other body organs to accomplish digestion.
A species specific diet rich in raw animal parts provides a rich source of enzymes (as well as other dense nutrients) necessary for the continuing good health of our carnivore companions.
It is just this simple: if living enzymes can be derived from raw sources, the body does not have to expend its precious energy robbing or making digestive enzymes in large quantities, it can utilize that energy in the process of living healthier and longer.