5 benefits of salmon and hemp oil
Fatty acids are an important component of a dog’s diet, as they are necessary for maintaining good health and preventing disease. Fatty acids are the most important supplement you can give to your dog, regardless of what type of diet it eats.
The fatty acids that are particularly relevant are omega-3 fatty acids. EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are the most important and they must be supplied directly from food, as dogs (and humans too), cannot produce them
Besides omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids are also an important requirement for dogs, but because they are widely available in today’s dog diets, especially in commercial pet food, we don’t hear about them as often. In fact, omega-6 fatty acids are plentiful in any diet, so it is important to provide enough omega-3 fatty acids in order to maintain an adequate omega-6:omega-3 ratio. This ratio should be low (4:1 or 3:1) and supplementing with omega-3 will compensate potential imbalances created by feeding a diet with high contents of omega-6 (and thus a high omega-6:omega-3 ratio). Also, EPA and DHA are fragile compounds that do not survive storage conditions or the processing of kibble, thus the need to supplement.
Both fish and plant oils are important sources of fatty acids, complementing each other in terms of benefits. Fish oil comes from oily fish, such as salmon or sardines, and it is the result of these fish accumulating omega-3 fatty acids by eating other fish. Plant oils that are commonly used are extracted from different plants, with flaxseeds, coconut, and hempseeds being some examples.
While salmon oil is a source of readily available omega-3 fatty acids, hempseed oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a short-chain omega-3 fatty acid that dogs need to convert into EPA and then DHA. As for its benefits though, hempseed oil has the perfect balance of omega 3:omega 6 fatty acids, along with other benefits recognized by the traditional Chinese medicine long ago.
Hempseed oil has health-promoting and healing properties and it is a powerful anti-oxidant that relieves inflammation. It is easily digested and is a rich source of amino acids.
With so many great properties, salmon and hemp oil makes the perfect combination of a fatty acid supplement. But what are, after all, the 5 benefits of using salmon and hemp oil?
1. Improves skin and coat
Fatty acids play an important role in reducing inflammation, which benefits different organs and systems. The skin and coat are no exception. Their health and overall looks improve when adding fatty acids to a dog’s diet. Scientific studies have provided evidence that fatty acid supplementation reduces itching, self-trauma, hair loss, and helps maintaining a healthy coat. There is also evidence that fatty acid supplementation alleviates the symptoms of a dermatologic condition called atopic dermatitis.
2. Helps cognitive function
Fatty acids are known promoters of cognitive function and neurologic health. They help in the development of fetuses and puppies, and stimulate brain function, aiding in the prevention of dog dementia. Clinical trials comparing groups of animals with and without fatty acid supplementation have shown great improvements in behavioral attributes, agility, recognition of family and other animals (symptoms associated with dog dementia), as well as a decrease in excessive licking and pacing in dogs taking the supplements.
3. Reduces inflammation
Because fatty acids reduce inflammation, any condition resulting from it will improve. Arthritis, allergies, and inflammatory bowel disease are good examples of health issues that improve with fatty acid use. Any chronic and degenerative disease for which inflammation is the root cause will see its symptoms decrease due to the anti-inflammatory properties of EPA and DHA.
4. Regulates the immune system
Essential fatty acids boost the immune system, whenever it is suppressed, but they also calm it down when it is overreactive (as in allergies or autoimmune disease), thus acting as a regulator of the immune system. Any condition that is directly related to the immune function will therefore benefit from fatty acid uptake.
5. Helps preventing cancer
Salmon and hemp oil are also a good option as an adjuvant to prevent and treat cancer. Essential fatty acids promote apoptosis, or programmed cell death, of cancerous cells via a mechanism of lipid peroxidation. On doing so, they reduce the tumor burden and help reducing tumor growth. Scientific evidence supports the beneficial effects of fish oil on different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer in humans. Why would it be different in dogs?
As if these were not enough reasons to start supplementing your dog with fatty acids, there is evidence that fish oil also helps in cardiovascular and renal disorders, lowers blood pressure and triglycerides, and promotes weight loss in overweight dogs. It’s all benefits.
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