In this era of the Internet there is an overwhelming amount of credible and not-so-credible information. It is nearly impossible to decipher the truth from fiction. Therapeutic Nutrition is broadly defined as the use of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, co-factors, enzymes, anti-oxidants, and phytonutrients, to support the body’s immune and healing systems, thereby altering the course and outcome of a disease process. It can be used as a preventative, or can be used as a therapy. It does not focus on food types, calories nor minimum daily requirements, but rather on metabolic and physiological effects of foods on the body’s healing and immune systems. Unlike drugs, nutritional products are not designed to address symptoms or diseases, they are designed to “feed” and “fuel” the cells of the body, using or calling upon the cells’ inherent ability to heal and achieve wellness. The goals of therapeutic nutrition fall within 3 broad categories, which directly help to enhance wellness.
ü The supply of appropriate, bioavailable nutrients
ü The reduction of inflammation
ü The enhancement of elimination of toxins
The pet food industry attempted to regulate and standardize commercially prepared pet foods. This method is based upon the chemical content and analysis of food, the actual levels of fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and moisture. The regulatory methodology is accomplished via the guaranteed analysis of the food. To qualify as a pet food, the following 4 categories must be listed on the label : crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and moisture. Veterinarians were able to put together a mixture containing coal, shoes, and crankcase oil. When chemically analyzed, this mixture met the minimum requirements of pet food. So, it is not only the chemical composition of pet foods that is important, but the bioavailability of the raw ingredients used.
Dr. Selmer has affirmed that optimum nutrition helps slow the onset and progression of chronic disease because it restores balance and promotes healing by supporting the metabolic pathways that energize the healing system. In addition, it helps reduce the inflammation that predisposes an animal to disease. Its use, either alone or in combination with appropriate medication, contributes to the day-to-day wellness of the animal.