10 nutrition myths debunked

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In addition, kefir contains plenty of probiotics, which is where many of the kefir benefits come from. L Return to top. Gastrointestinal Surgery The digestive system is an intricate system that can be disrupted by disease, diet and emotional stress. Kaposi Sarcoma and Human Herpesvirus 8. Physical activity is also highly encouraged, but patients must avoid contact sports equipment damage and swimming infection.

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Parenteral nutrition

The severity of weight loss will depend on the tumor type, the stage of the disease and will also vary from one pet to another. As the cancer alters the pet's sugar, protein and fat metabolism, and 'steals' nutrients from the pet, the pet's body will be forced to use its own tissues e. Tumors have been shown to preferentially use protein as energy source at the expense of the host, and use certain amino acids that result in abnormal amino acid profiles in pets with cancer.

When protein degradation becomes higher than protein synthesis, it can have a negative impact on immune system, function of the gastrointestinal tract and wound healing as discussed in more detail below. Impact of malnutrition on a cat or dog with cancer The impact of severe weight loss can be quite devastating on the pet's quality of life as well as his or her ability to tolerate and respond to cancer treatments.

Progressive cancer cachexia will lead to anorexia lack of appetite , fatigue, abnormally low levels of proteins that can alter metabolism of drugs that your pet may be given , delayed wound healing and tissue repair, immunosuppression when the immune system does not function normally , reduction in pulmonary and cardiovascular function, and ultimately death.

Proper nutrition while undergoing cancer treatment is essential to maintain your pet's strength, improve survival times, quality of life and maximize response to therapy.

Adequate nutritional support was shown to decrease the duration of hospitalization, reduce post-surgery complications and enhance the healing process. Impact of cancer on metabolism in pets with cancer There are three basic sources of energy found in food: Many commercial pet foods are high in carbohydrate content, which are not ideal to support cancer patients.

In one study, dogs with lymphoma were split into two groups receiving the same quantity of calories but one group was fed high-carbohydrate diet and the second group was fed high-fat diet.

The diet was administered before and after remission with up to five doses of commonly used chemotherapy drug doxorubicin. The results showed that lactate and insulin levels from dogs who received high- carbohydrate diet was significantly higher compared to the dogs fed with high-fat diet, and dogs fed with high-fat diet were more likely to go into remisision. Therefore, the type of diet that your pet gets can influence response to chemotherapy.

Knowing that tumors preferentially use amino acids, providing high quality amino acids or protein to some pets with cancer may be of critical importance.

Some amino acids also showed a therapeutic benefit, such as arginine, glycine, cystine and glutamine. For example, adding arginine amino acid to total parenteral nutrition solution decreased tumor growth and metastatic rate spread to other organs in laboratory mice; glycine was shown to reduce kidney toxicity associated with a commonly used chemotherapy drug cisplatin in dogs; or glutamine was shown to reduce gastrointestinal toxicity associated with methotrexate chemotherapy drug in cats.

Loss of fat accounts for the majority of weight loss in pets with cancer, and many cancer patients show abnormalities in their lipid metabolism. These abnormalities have been linked to suppressed immune system, which correlates with shorter survival times in human counterparts with cancer.

In comparison to proteins and sugars, cancer cells have difficulties in using fats as source of energy, which led to the hypothesis that high-fat diets may be beneficial to pets with cancer compared to a diet high in simple carbohydrate. In one study, dogs with Stage III lymphoma were fed an experimental diet designed to enhance the effect of n-3 fatty acids, which was associated with longer disease-free interval and survival times. What to feed cat or dog with cancer As summarized above, available data suggest that a diet relatively low in simple sugars, with moderate amounts of highly bioavailable proteins, fiber, and moderate amounts of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial for pets with cancer.

However, more research is needed to evaluate in more detail the optimum quantities and ratios of each component to maximize the benefit. The diets should also go beyond sugars, protein, fat and fiber, and should incorporate other components such as vitamins and minerals.

For a comprehensive review written by Dr. The specific diet for your pet will depend on the level of pet's malnutrition, the specific tumor type, what treatment he or she will undergo, existence of other medical conditions, and overall health of the pet. Some veterinary oncology hospitals now provide nutritional counseling services to help pet owners determine which foods are best suited for their pet's unique needs.

The goal should be to begin nutritional support early on rather than waiting until signs of weight loss occur. How to feed cat or dog with cancer The pet may lose its appetite while undergoing cancer treatment, and nutritional support becomes especially important during this time. For example, radiation therapy may temporarily blister the pet's mouth and throat, making swallowing difficult. Chemotherapy may cause temporary nausea, decreasing the pet's appetite.

Surgery on the pet's mouth may take a while to heal, preventing the pet from being able to eat and drink.

In these cases, alternative methods of feeding must be applied to continue adequate nutritional support. Voluntary intake Voluntary intake of food is the preferred method of feeding, however, the pet's lack of appetite will frequently limit the caloric intake. As a result, the pet will not meet the minimum nutritional requirements and some form of assisted feeding will have to be implemented. The first step is to enhance the pet's appetite.

This can be accomplished by warming the food to just below body temperature, enticing the pet with tasty, aromatic foods, and feeding them in a stress-free, comfortable environment. If that fails, other options include administration of appetite stimulating drugs, use of feeding tubes or intravenous feeding.

When your gut is out of whack, it can send signals to your skin that disrupt its natural balance and cause all sorts of problems like acne , psoriasis, rashes and eczema. Kefir helps bring good bacteria back to the forefront and level out the homeostasis for your largest organ, the skin. The carbohydrate found in kefir known as k efiran , aside from aiding in the immune system, has also been tested and shown helping improve the quality of skin wound healing.

The good bacteria found in many dairy products is essential for a healthy gut and body. The active ingredient in kefir helps break lactose down into lactic acid, making it easier to digest. If you have had lactose intolerance , my advice is to try it first by placing a small drop of the kefir on the inside of your arm or wrist and let it dry.

Then wait 24 hours and see if you have any inflammation. If you do, then steer clear of it. But if not, then try adding just a drop or two to a beverage or some food and see if you have any reaction. Yet even with the range in values, kefir has superior nutrition. For example, one cup of store-bought whole milk kefir has about: In addition, kefir contains plenty of probiotics, which is where many of the kefir benefits come from. Kefir is one of the highest probiotic foods you can eat with several important probiotic strains, and homemade kefir far outranks any store-bought variety.

Beneficial bacteria and yeasts may include the following: There are essentially two main types of kefir, and they differ in multiple ways. While the base liquid used in different types of kefirs varies, the process for making kefir is still the same, and the kefir benefits are thought to be present in both types.

All types of kefirs are similar to kombucha another healthy probiotic-rich drink favorite in that they must have sugar either naturally present or else added in order to allow the healthy bacteria to grow and for the fermentation process to take place. Here is more information about how the different types of kefirs are made and how their tastes and uses differ:. Traditionally, milk kefir is made using a starter culture , which is what ultimately allows the probiotics to form.

Milk kefir is not naturally sweet on its own, but other flavors can be added to it in order to boost the flavor and make it more appealing. While some people prefer to have kefir plain, many like to have vanilla- or berry-flavored kefirs, similarly to how you will find yogurts flavored and sold.

Most store-bought kefirs are flavored with additions like fruit or cane sugar, but you can sweeten and flavor your kefir yourself at home by adding pure raw honey , pure maple syrup , pure vanilla extract or organic stevia extract. Also try adding pureed fruit to your plain kefir like banana or blueberries to boost the nutrient content even more. Beyond just drinking milk kefir, there are other ways to cleverly use it in recipes.

Milk kefir can make a great base for soups and stews that would otherwise call for regular buttermilk, sour cream, heavy cream or yogurt. You can substitute plain or flavored kefir for any of these in ingredients in your favorite recipes for baked goods, mashed potatoes, soups and more in order to boost the nutrient content and get all the wonderful kefir benefits.

Coconut kefir can be made either using coconut milk or coconut water. Both types of coconut kefirs do not contain any dairy. Coconut water and coconut milk are said to be the perfect base for creating fermented kefir because they naturally have carbohydrates present, including sugars, which are needed to be consumed by the yeast during the fermentation process to create healthy bacteria.

Coconut kefir is made in the same way as milk kefir. It becomes more tart and also carbonated once fermented, and tends to be sweeter and less strongly flavored than milk kefir. Both types of coconut kefir still taste like natural coconut and also keep all of the nutritional benefits of unfermented plain coconut milk and water potassium and electrolytes, for example.

Water kefir is made in a similar way as milk and coconut kefirs. Just like milk kefir, plain water kefir can be flavored at home using your own healthy additions and makes a great, healthy alternative to drinking things like soda or processed fruit juice.

You want to use water kefir differently than you use milk kefir. Try adding water kefir to smoothies, healthy desserts, oatmeal, salad dressing, or just drink it plain. Try having water kefir with fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice, mint, or cucumber to flavor your water kefir naturally, or make a healthy soda alternative by combining water kefir with club soda or seltzer for a virtually sugar-free carbonated drink.

Choose kefirs that are low in sugar and added flavors, and then try flavoring it yourself at home where you have control over the amount of sugar being used. You might be wondering now: How exactly does one make homemade kefir to get all these kefir benefits? Dairy-free versions of kefir can be made with coconut water, coconut milk or other sweet liquids. Once you make your kefir, you can add it to so many things, such as smoothies, spreads, in sourdough bread, in soups, ice creams and more.

Genuine kefir grains themselves carry over 40 strains of probiotics and must be transferred immediately from batch to batch to remain active and alive. Another unique positive to making your own kefir aside from big cost savings is homemade kefir is often carbonated as opposed to the packaged kind.

Water kefir uses crystal or salt-like grains instead of the white, cloudy type and feeds off of sugar instead of lactose. It provides most, if not all, of the same kefir benefits but has a slightly different, fizzy taste and mouthfeel.

If you purchase the grains, they should be shipped overnight or express. If you want to take a break from your kefir making, you may also store the grains in the refrigerator or a cool place, covered with sugar water or fresh milk. Change out the milk every couple of weeks.

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