NUTRIENT FLASH CARDS

Information from NRC and Canine and Feline Nutrition

Excess and deficiency symptoms range from marginal to lab produced.

VITAMINS

VITAMIN A

The term vitamin A refers to related chemical compounds, including retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. 

Vitamin A comes from carotenoids synthesized by plants- they are dark red pigments that cause plants to be yellow and orange.

Cats cannot convert beta-carotene to active vitamin A.

Fat soluble.

Functions
Vision, bone growth, reproduction, maintenance of epithelial tissue.

Signs of Deficiency
Impaired growth, reproductive failure, loss of epithelial integrity, dermatoses, fetal abnormalities, immune dysfunction, weight loss.

Signs of Excess
Skeletal abnormalities, fetal abnormalities, various symptoms of excess when in clinical trials. Safe upper limit exists, but is not concrete.

Dietary carotenoids are different than that of pre-formed vitamin A found in liver.  You should not meet RA with carotenoids from, for example, sweet potato. The A in liver is a different form. Carotenoids possess antioxidant properties. You should continue independent reading on vitamin A.


Read more here:
https://www.thepossiblecanine.com/veggies-dog

Sources
Fish liver oils, liver, egg yolk. Liver will provide all the A you need.

VITAMIN D

D3- Cholecalciferol is the form most important for dietary intake. Calcitriol is the active form in the body.

Fat soluble.

Functions
Very involved with normal calcium and phosphorus homeostasis. D3 is stored in the liver, muscle, and adipose tissue. After the compound is transported and changed in the liver, it is transported to the kidney and converted to metabolites. This happens in response to elevated Parathyroid Hormone (PTH). Decrease in serum phosphorus also stimulates active vitamin D. Active vitamin D functions in normal bone tissue development and maintenance. Is also important in the homeostasis of the body’s calcium and phosphorus pools. Vitamin D stimulates the synthesis of calcium-binding protein which is necessary for the absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus. Also affects normal bone growth and calcification by acting with PTH to mobilize calcium from bone and by causing an increase in phosphate re-absorption in the kidneys. The effect of Vitamin D in the intestines, bones, and kidneys is an increase in plasma calcium and phosphorus to the level that is necessary to allow for the normal mineralization and remodeling of bone.

Signs of Deficiency
Rickets, osteomalacia, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism. Overall compromised skeletal system

Signs of Excess
Hypercalcemia, bone resorption, soft tissue calcification

Sources
Fatty fish, some fish liver oils, egg yolk, and liver. (Liver alone is not enough to cover D needs in recipes without providing too much of other nutrients.)

Dogs and cats should be fed D3 sources, not D2.

Reading
https://www.thepossiblecanine.com/the-spotlight-series-vitamin-d

VITAMIN E

D-Alpha-tocopherol is primary source used in reference to meeting the RA, but all 8 forms have functions.

Fat soluble.

Functions
Found in small amounts of all tissues, incorporated into the membrane bilayers of cells. The liver stores appreciable amounts of E. The chief function in the diet and the body is as a potent antioxidant. Needs affected by PUFAs in a pet’s food. Has a relationship with selenium. Selenium is a cofactor for the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which functions to reduce peroxides that are formed during FA oxidation. Overall protecting the cell membranes from further oxidation damage. 

Signs of Deficiency
Reproductive Failure, reports of degeneration of skeletal muscles, retinal degeneration. Other studies have found deficient diets to cause edema, anorexia, depression, 

Signs of Excess
Non-toxic- may increase A and D needs. However, too much will have the opposite effect desired. D alpha is the preferred vitamer in circulation. High doses of D alpha affect circulation of the other vitamers. High doses thins blood. E should still be used in moderation.

Sources
Supplementation, some fats, some plant matter.. Brain is not a good source.
When selecting a Vitamin E source, you need to be mindful of the PUFA to E ratio in the food and the diet. See Fall Course.

VITAMIN K

Quinones: K1 (phylloquinone) K2 (menaquinone) K3 (Menadione)

Fat soluble.

Functions
Important for blood clotting- required for liver’s synthesis of prothrombin and other clotting factors.

“There are two natural forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1, also called phylloquinone, is found in the green tissues of plants, tightly embedded within the membrane of the photosynthesizing organelle called the chloroplast. As the chlorophyll within this organelle absorbs energy from sunlight, it releases high-energy electrons; vitamin K1 forms a bridge between chlorophyll and several iron-sulfur centers across which these electrons travel, releasing their energy so that the cell can ultimately use it to synthesize glucose.” -Dr. Chris Masterjohn, PHD Read more.

 A raw diet of meat, bones, eggs, and dairy will provide various forms of vitamin K2.

 

Signs of Deficiency
Increased clotting time, hemorrhage.

Signs of Excess
None recorded.

Sources
Green leafy plants, liver, some fish meals.

For cats and dogs, up to all of their needs can be met by microbial synthesis in the gut if the animal is healthy. This is not to suggest that some dietary supply is not helpful.

B1 | Thiamine

Functions
Part of a coenzyme thiamine pyrophosphate- playing a role in the use of carbohydrates for energy and the conversion to fat and the metabolism of fatty acids, nucleic acids, steroids and some amino acids.
Thiamine needs depend on how much carbohydrates that are supplied in the diet.

Signs of Deficiency
Affects the function of the CNS because of the dependency on glucose for energy.
Rare. 

Signs of Excess
N/A

Sources
Lean pork, beef, liver, wheat germ, beef heart

Raw feeders should be aware of thiaminase

https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2018/05/19/thiaminase-in-raw-fish/

B2 | Riboflavin

Functions
Contains simple sugar D-ribose. A component of two coenzymes that are required in oxidative enzyme systems that function in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as well as in several biosynthetic pathways.

Signs of Deficiency
CNS Dysfunction, dermatitis

Signs of Excess
N/A

Sources
Organ meats, veggies, milk, microbial synthesis occurs in large intestine. The amount synthesized depends on the species and level of carbohydrates fed.

B3 | Niacin

Functions

Cellular oxidation-reduction enzyme systems. Part of the coenzyme NADH & NADP- crucial for cellular respiration resulting in ATP.

Deficiencies appear quicker than other nutritional deficiencies.

Signs of Deficiency
Pellagra, and at extreme loss can result in death and also affects the brain

Signs of Excess
N/A

Sources
Liver, some fish meals, chicken, turkey, animal products in general. Plants are not a digestible source because this vitamin is found bound in plants.

B6 | Pyridoxine

Comprises three different compounds: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine

Functions
Energy metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis, red and white blood cell formation, synthesis of antibodies and neurotransmitters. Important to some extent glucose and fatty acid metabolism. It is required for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin. Therefore, vitamin B6 requirements is influenced by the level of protein in the diet.

Signs of Deficiency
Microcytic hypochromic anemia, convulsions, muscle twitching.

Signs of Excess
None Recorded

Sources
Organ meats, fish, wheat germ

B12 | Cobalamin

Contains cobalt, trace element. Synthesized only by microorganisms. This B vitamin is unique in that it is stored in the liver.

Functions
Involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism and required for the synthesis of myelin, the coating of nerves. Relies on intrinsic factors: glycoproteins, which are produced mostly in the pancreas but also by the gastric mucosa in dogs. This factor can lead to b12 deficiency where high supplementation or shots are required.

Signs of Deficiency
Anemia, impaired neurological functioning

Signs of Excess
N/A

Sources
Meat, fish, poultry

C | Ascorbic Acid

Functions
Required for the hydroxylation of amino acids proline and lysine in the formation of collagen and elastin for the synthesis of acetylcholinesterase. Important for normal bone formation. Crucial for connective tissue health.
Part of the antioxidant defense system.

Deficiencies appear quicker than other nutritional deficiencies.

Signs of Deficiency
In humans, we would call it scurvy. But dogs and cats do not have a dietary requirement for vitamin C.

Signs of Excess
Digestion upset and diarrhea

Sources
Vitamin C is produced in the liver from galactose or glucose.

This does not mean that there is no benefit or harm from dietary supply. Some working dogs likely will benefit from C in the diet- as might some dogs exposed to things like smoke.

B5 | Pantothenic Acid

Functions
“Pan”- occurs in all body tissues and in all forms of living tissues. Upon absorption, it is phosphorylated by ATP for from coenzyme A- essential for the process of acetylation, a reaction involved in many aspects of carb, fat and protein metabolism with the citric acid cycle/krebs cycle.

Signs of Deficiency
Anorexia, weight loss

Signs of Excess
None Recorded

Sources
Organ meats, fish, wheat germ, many foods.

B7 or BH | Biotin

Functions
A coenzyme required in several carboxylation reactions. Carbon dioxide carrier in reactions in which carbon chains are lengthened. Biotin therefore is involved in certain steps of fatty acid, nonessential amino acid, and purine synthesis.
Energy metabolism, hair, nervous system, skin

Signs of Deficiency
Dermatitis
Antibiotics can decrease gut bacterial population and therefore can cause an increase in dietary needs.

Signs of Excess
N/A

Sources
Animals that are healthy can synthesize a majority of their needs. Eggs are a good source.

B9 | Folate

Functions
Involved in the synthesis of thymidine, a component of DNA. Deficiency therefore can result in the body’s inability to produce adequate DNA and subsequently decreased cellular growth and maturation.

Signs of Deficiency
Anemia and leukopenia, impaired immunity

Signs of Excess
None Recorded

Sources
Liver, kidney, lentils

CHOLINE

Functions
Acts as a donor of methl units for various metabolic reactions in the body. A precursor for the neurotransmitter substance acetylcholine and necessary for normal Fatty Acid transport in cells. Integral part of cell membranes. Component of 2 phospholipids- lecithin and sphingomyelin.

Signs of Deficiency
Neurological Dysfunction

Signs of Excess
Diarrhea

Sources
Dietary deficiencies are rare and is often missing from food analysis. Choline is synthesized with the presence of b12 and folacin. A lot can be synthesized to meet daily needs but that is not to say that dietary supply does not benefit the animal.

Eggs and liver are good sources.

Check out the choline database