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Author Archives: Eurwen Szeto
We all love our pets dearly, and there is nothing wrong with that. So wouldn’t you want what’s best for your pet’s health? Recently, many cat and dog owners are switching over from dry kibbles and wet-canned foods to a raw pet food diet. The raw pet food diet usually consists of uncooked animal meats, organs, bones, fruits, and vegetables. Many have claimed that they see an increase in their pet’s poop quality, shinier coats, cleaner teeth, and just an overall improvement in their health. Yet, veterinarians, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), and CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association) don’t agree at all with these claims, and they have a really good reason why.
Many studies have been conducted to analyze raw meat-based pet foods, and show some pretty interesting results. Studies have found bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli in raw meat pet foods, as well as large amounts of these bacteria in the poop of pets being fed raw meat. Salmonella can affect humans and animals, and is known to cause diarrhea (a condition where stool or poop is watery) and are often dehydrated (a condition where there is more water leaving the body, rather than entering). E.coli can also affect both humans and animals, and is similar to Salmonella, except it can cause strong cramps, and bloody vomit and diarrhea. The craziest part is that certain studies have also found that the bacteria in the these types of pet food can resist many kinds of drugs that are meant to kill it. So we know that there’s an insane amount of bacteria found in the raw meat pet foods, and studies show that they can be resistant to drugs. But how does this affect humans and our pets?
There are a lot of health risks that come with eating a raw meat-based diet. Aside from what bacteria like Salmonella and E.coli can cause in humans and pets, pets can fracture their teeth upon eating large bones, become constipated, and rupture their gastro-intestinal tract. The gastro-intestinal tract is the part of the body that deals with digestion, absorption, and excretion of food. Animal and human bodies work similarly by breaking down food to absorb the nutrients and be used for various biological processes. Unfortunately, certain substances are left in the meat products if not cooked and when consumed they can prevent the break down process within the gastro-intestinal tract. Thus, pets that consume these raw meat-based foods can become nutrient deficient. Upon eating raw meat-based foods, pets can also pass on bacteria like salmonella and E.coli from their poop and also from their mouths via licking. To make matters worse, if indeed bacteria is passed on from pets, there is an increase risk of infection in young children, kittens, and puppies, the elderly, and those that are pregnant or have a weak immune system.
To sum everything up, studies can’t conclude the benefits and one should consult with their Veterinarian for diet changes.
Cosmetic companies have been selling anti-wrinkle or anti-aging facial creams for a while. They often advertise that by using their products, users will see an increase in hydration, reduction in facial lines, and look up to ten years younger after one month of usage. Basically, these companies are advertising that they’ve pretty much developed the fountain of youth in a jar.
Before we discuss whether anti-wrinkle creams work, let’s talk about the physiology of our skin!
The skin is the largest external organ on our body and is comprised of three layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer that is exposed to the environment, and the hypodermis is the innermost layer that is mainly made of fat. The dermis is in the middle and is the layer that contains fibroblasts, which are specialized cells that secretes a chemical compound known as collagen. Collagen is in charge of giving our skin it’s tensile strength and its overall structure.
Wrinkles are caused by external factors like the sun’s UV (ultra-violet) rays, which in turn can also damage fibroblast cells. However, a study found that fibroblast cells also lose their ability to secrete collagen as it ages. Since the wrinkles within the skin are caused by fibroblast cells losing their ability to produce collagen, the question still hangs in the air: do anti-wrinkle creams work?
Yes, and no. Anti-wrinkle facial creams contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinoids, vitamin-C, etc. Hyaluronic acid is a chemical compound that helps your skin retain its moisture. Retinoids are another kind of chemical compound that functions like hyaluronic acid, except it also stimulates the production of collagen and promotes the shedding of old skin cells. Vitamin-C helps with preventing any further damage to the internal components of skin cells. As mentioned before, wrinkles are caused by a decrease in production of collagen by the fibroblast cells in the dermis layer, and these ingredients aren’t a permanent fix to these cells. At best, some of these ingredients can protect our skin from UV damage, or reduce the look of fine lines by adding extra moisture to give the appearance of a fuller look. So anti-wrinkle facial creams can work in a sense that it provides a bit of protection from external factors and a temporary fix. However, it’s not permanent and probably won’t make you look ten years younger.
In all honesty, the best “anti-wrinkle cream” anyone can use is sunscreen. Applying sunscreen to the skin on your body can prevent the development of skin cancer and protect the fibroblast cells within your skin from prematurely stopping the collagen production.
Link to specific study: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181108134147.htm