The Importance of Antioxidant Supplementation

Man’s Best Friend has lived alongside us for tens of thousands of years, providing protection, service and companionship. The strength of this bond and depth of this relationship have only increased over time; in addition to sharing our lives, our canine partners protect and serve people with disabilities such as visual impairment, hearing impairment, seizures, and PTSD.

As our sentinels, dogs teach us about ourselves and our environment.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe are becoming increasingly polluted. Additionally, essential nutrients used by the body to maintain health and counteract the effects of environmental toxins are diminished with aging, disease, and the constant fight against oxidative stress. In fact, most major dog foods are cooked at high temperatures to meet safety standards, but in doing so nutrients and antioxidants are destroyed. This is a real problem as our canine friends age, because aging digestive tracts do not absorb nutrients as well.

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), also known as free radicals, are highly unstable molecules resulting from natural metabolic processes such as breathing and digestion.  Environmental toxins contribute to higher levels of free radicals. When free radicals outnumber the natural protective antioxidant pathways in a cell, an imbalance commonly known as “oxidative stress” occurs. This is a major component of aging and is why a diet rich in antioxidants is so important!

This interaction between ROS and antioxidants is particularly evident in the eye, where the replacement of essential antioxidants may help reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress.

Supplementing with Ocu-GLO™ provides your dog with a carefully designed, well-balanced, patented blend of antioxidants and other nutrients that can help maintain optimal eye health, as well as overall wellness. What is good for the eye is also good for the rest of the body, especially brain health, because the retina and the brain share the same embryonic origin. They both require huge amounts of oxygen to function well, but this also means that oxidative stress can easily be triggered in these tissues.  Ocu-GLO™ is an excellent antioxidant supplement that may help support healthy brain function, supporting normal nerve conduction and memory recall.  Antioxidants have also been shown to help maintain normal DNA and support immune system function.

The use and benefits of some of the ingredients in Ocu-GLO™ are outlined below.

Grapeseed Extract (GSE): GSE is a potent free radical scavenger that “grabs” and neutralizes ROS and other harmful free radicals. It is one of a family of compounds called proanthocyanidins, which are naturally occurring compounds found in high concentrations in fruits, vegetables, wine, tea, nuts, seeds, flowers, bark and cacao. In addition to the ability of proanthocyanidins to help reduce the process of oxidative stress, they may also assist in the bodies ability to maintain a healthy inflammatory response.  In addition, proanthocyanidins may also potentiate the beneficial effects of vitamins C and E; help support normal cell function, and help protect the circulatory system.

**It is important to note that grapeseed extract is not the same as grape skin extract. There are compounds in the skin of the grape that can be toxic to dogs and should therefore be avoided.  The seeds, however, do not contain these harmful substances.

Lutein (& Zeaxanthin): Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent carotenoids found in dark leafy vegetables, colored fruits and egg yolk. The leading source of lutein and zeaxanthin is marigold flowers.

These two antioxidants function synergistically to help support the bodies ability to reduce free radicals associated with the aging process in the eye, reduce the negative effects of oxidative stress, act as natural blue light filters, and may help maintain a normal inflammatory response.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and fish oil, (the latter which is ultimately derived from marine algae). Omega-3 Fatty Acids are important for normal brain and retinal development in babies and puppies, help decrease normal inflammatory pathways in the body, and help support the bodies immune system. They are also vital to everyday health, strong muscles, and healthy joint function. In the eye, Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help promote normal vascular health and capillary function.

Lycopene: Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid quencher of singlet oxygen, thereby reducing the formation of damaging free radicals.  This powerhouse antioxidant does not get the press it deserves! Lycopene is found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and carrots.

Green Tea Extract (EGCG): Another amazing anti-oxidant, EGCG is the principal flavonoid found in mature or darker teas, and may help significantly reverse oxidative stress and help support a normal inflammatory response in the body. In addition, it can also enhance the body’s own natural immune response, promoting the bodies innate resistance to pathogens.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): ALA is a water and fat soluble antioxidant found in spinach, broccoli, peas, Brewer’s yeast, and organ meats.  ALA is necessary in the normal production of glutathione in the body and can also help enhance the effects of vitamins C and E, and coenzymeQ10.  Glutathione is the major antioxidant in the lens, the liver and the brain. ALA is  important in the management of oxidative stress in the body.

These antioxidants, as well as the other ingredients found in Ocu-GLO™,  have been combined into this unique formulation to specifically offer healthy support for the canine eye.  By assisting the body in combating environmental pollutants, aiding in the elimination of unstable free radicals, and supporting the bodies normal cell function, Ocu-GLO™ promotes healthy vision for your canine family member!

Giving  Ocu-GLO™ to your aging pet can provide ongoing optimal vision support for your canine friend!  Just as older people have difficulty with night vision, so do geriatric dogs.  Rods don’t handle aging well, so night vision suffers. Given that elderly dogs often have hearing loss, vision becomes even more important!

Ocu-GLO™ helps support normal rod function in the retina, to help your aging dog see all that it can see!

– Terri McCalla DVM MS

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