Thursday 7 September 2023

Emulsifiers in cat food might harm cats due to inflammation

If you know a bit about cat food ingredients, you'll know that emulsifiers and stabilisers are sometimes used in wet pet food. An example would be lecithin, an emulsifier that can be used in wet pet food. They act as a glue to the processed foods to hold them together. To that information I can add, today, a report in The Times, on a study in which scientists examined the health implications of emulsifiers, a group of E-number additives added to industrially produced foods such as bread and chocolate for the human market!

Does this list of ingredients in cat food mean anything to you? Me neither.

And it has been found that people who consumed many emulsifiers were more likely to suffer heart disease and stroke even when adjustments have been made for factors such as weight and overall diet.

The study which has been published in the British Medical Journal, monitored the diets of 95,000 French adults over seven years. They examined the average daily intake of eight groups of emulsifiers. The scientists suggested that the 5% increased risk of heart disease was because additives can damage the gut by disrupting the community of bacteria known as the microbiome. This leads to inflammation that increases the risk of other conditions.

Sidebar note: am I the only one (I am sure that I am not) who finds it next to impossible to read wet cat food label ingredients? There's a long list of ingredients which by and large looks meaningless to me. I don't know whether the ingredients are harmful to my cat or not. I don't know what many of them mean. I don't know what purpose they serve as an ingredient. I have to do research which is troublesome. There is an argument that pet food labelling listing ingredients should be much clearer and understandable by non-expert laypeople, the typical cat owner.

So, what can we take from this is cat owners? I think we can look at the wet food labels from time to time to check whether there are additives and emulsifiers in it. A small task but I think that cat owners should know about quality cat foods and poor-quality cat food. It doesn't take much to work it out and these kinds of harms can be insidious. They are in the background. Cat owners don't know that they are taking place. They rely upon pet food manufacturers to create pet foods which are healthy but they aren't always.

It is difficult cat owners especially with increased prices on pet food due to inflation. Sometimes they opt for the cheapest dry cat food but, in my view, after many years of research on cat foods, a cheap dry cat food fed exclusively is likely to cause health problems. There has to be some wet cat food in their as the primary food source and it should be high quality without emulsifiers.

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