The good grains and vegetable content

Corn Gluten Meal as second or lower ingredient:
As I am continually providing information on this subject, I have decided it is best to record it here so that it is readily accessible at any time for those who care to have their facts straight.
  • Anyone with training in food chemistry will be able to tell you that the term "gluten" refers to the protein content of corn. The information is backed up on many sites online. The difficulty with corn gluten meal is that it doesn't contain all the amino acids needed by felines, so you definitely need to have muscle meat protein "meal" as a higher protein source than the corn. Remember that "meal" is dry weight and not mostly water.
  • At Ingredients 101, there is a breakdown of corn as a commercial ingredient sold for livestock feed. While the protein content there is estimated to be 60%, I have found higher percentages provided online by government inspected enterprises.
  • One often finds comments about corn gluten meal being "useless" to felines, however, the prestigious PubMed site shows a study regarding feline assimilation of corn gluten meal where it was found to be 2.5% less bioavailable than chicken meal. In that paragraph, on the third line, click on Table III to confirm the following figures:
    meat meal - 83.3%
    chicken meal - 80.2%
    corn gluten meal 77.7%
  • In the above study, in Table IV, the absorption and retention of nitrogen from those figures were slightly more realistic in representation, in that actual nitrogen retention with the remainder being excreted in either urine, or feces was:
    meat meal - 18.3 ± 4.4
    chicken meal - 13.1 ± 4.6
    corn gluten meal - 11.8 ± 7.3
  • In the above study, under "Diet", Table II also breaks down amino acid content of corn gluten meal as compared to meat meal and chicken meal. Corn gluten meal contained as much of the sulphur amino acids, (methionine and cystine), as the other two, whereas other grain and vegetables are lacking in these amino acids. The importance of this is in the development of struvite crystals. Sulphur amino acids are needed to provide an acid pH that will prevent crystal development.
  • Corn gluten is used as a germination retardent , which is used for sensationalism by those who have an agenda, that has nothing to do with corn gluten meal's capability of safely supplying nutrition to our companion animals. The safety of the ingredient is reflected in the fact that it cannot harm living organisms, and in fact, as it breaks down, becomes a high nitrogen fertilizer because of the protein content.
The next two products are discussed at a site that reflects some of the recent research done on fermentable fibres for felines done by Sunvold and Reinhart. You may notice in Table 6 that both acceptable fibre sources are moderately fermentable, and have low solubility. This article is a composite of other papers presented at different times to their peers.
Rice Bran:
Rice bran is the outside layer of the rice kernel, which contains the bran, and part of the rice germ. It is the part of the rice kernel that is removed to make brown rice. The first URL, and this one, take you to nutritional breakdowns of the product.
Beet Pulp:
Beet pulp is the other, more commonly used fermentable fibre with low solubility, and moderate fermantability, as recommended in the Reinhart and Sunvold paper presented to the 1996 Iams Symposium. It is the vegetable matter, which remains after sugar is extracted from sliced sugar beets.
Some interesting studies on this subject can be found here, here, and references are made in the National Research Council, (2006) book on Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats Page 38 of these notes from the Iam's symposium states, "Fiber digestibility was greatest for cats consuming a diet containing beet pulp (a moderately fermentable fiber), a diet containing the highly fermentable blend of fibers and a diet containing a combination blend of fibers designed to provide moderate fermentation (beet pulp, rice bran, citrus pectin, and carob bean gum)"



For a number of years there have been questions regarding Moducare, suggesting that it is not appropriate for felines because of the alleged quantity of simple carbohydrate used as an anti caking agent, etc., so I am hoping to spend time providing a good list of reference material for those who have a sincere interest in using available resources for their companion animals. Some of the reference material will relate to AIDS studies as our own collection has been focused upon our dear FIV+ boy, Legolas. However, we are finding that Moducare does a very good job of maintaining our diabetic, Hamlet, who also suffered from asthma, previous to using this product. Moducare appears to be keeping this in check so that we don't need to resort to inhaled steroids, which would concern us more, as the residue from the steroids has to go somewhere, and so far there are no good scientific answers we find acceptable. You will notice that the company has a few studies listed at their site attached to the hypertext above.

One of the most comprehensive lists of abstracts and studies that I have run across is put out by Big Five Veterinary Pharmaceutical Company (Pty) Ltd.  **Note, this site seems to be down.  While hunting to reconnect I am finding that South Africa is developing a protectionism because some of their products have been patented by foreigners without benefit to the natives originally providing the use.  There are a number of papers cited on the actual Moducare site that I haven't yet rechecked but previously they were similar to the "Big Five" papers.

A good site with general information on the use of Moducare, including recommended dosage, and the need to use without animal fats is The Analyst site.

The use of these specific phytosterols in animals is discussed in VETERINARY CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA: SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE Volume 34, Issue 1: Nutraceuticals and Other Biologic Therapies References to research are found at such sources as PubMed: Modulation of immune response through nutraceutical interventions: implications for canine and feline health.

April 21, 2009

Recently I have had more opportunity to research subjects close to Moducare use and have run across the following information around its use in cats:
CONCLUSIONS: The results confirm the correlation between apoptosis and the other parameters noted during the previous study and allows a comparison with FIV- cats. Spontaneous CD4+ apoptosis possibly protects the FIV+ cat by reducing the number of virus producing cells. This phenomenon was enhanced in the group treated with the immune modulator.