BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Companion animals such as dogs and cats seem to suffer from aging problems. Some of these are manifested in commonplace sayings. One of these is “You can't teach an old dog new tricks”. This saying arises from the observation that as dogs age, their mental capacity seems to diminish as well as physical abilities. Mental activities associated with thinking learning and memory seem to be lessened (Cummings B J, Head E, Ruehl W, Milgram N W, Cotman C W 1996: The canine as an animal model of aging and dementia; Neurobiology of aging 17:259-268). Additionally, behavioral change can be manifested in the aging animals in association with the changing mental capacity. Many causes have been assigned to this lessening of capacity.
These losses in capacity are generally observed in aged canines and felines. Dogs of seven years or older and felines of seven years or older are considered aged and can experience this problem.
The presence of significant levels of at least one antioxidant in the diet of an adult companion pet or fed to a pet outside his diet can inhibit the onset of deterioration of the mental capacity of the aged companion pet and/or maintain the mental capacity of the adult companion pet further into the aged years.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with the invention, there is a companion pet diet meeting ordinary nutritional requirements of an adult pet and further comprising a sufficient amount of an antioxidant or mixture thereof to inhibit the onset of deterioration of the mental capacity of said companion pet in its aged years.
A further aspect of the invention is a method for inhibiting the deterioration of the mental capacity of an aged companion pet, which comprises feeding said pet in his adult years an antioxidant or mixture thereof at sufficient levels to accomplish this inhibition.
In further accordance with the invention is a companion adult pet diet meeting ordinary nutritional requirements of an adult companion pet and further comprising an antioxidant selected from the group consisting of Vitamin E, vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, 1-carnitine and any mixtures thereof in quantities sufficient to inhibit the deterioration of the mental capacity of said pet in its aged years.
A still further aspect of the invention is a method for increasing the mental capacity of an aged companion pet, which comprises feeding the pet in its adult years an amount of an antioxidant or mixture thereof sufficient to increase the mental capacity.
Another aspect of the invention is a method for increasing the mental capacity of an adult companion pet which comprises feeding the pet an amount of an antioxidant or mixture thereof sufficient to increase the mental capacity of said pet.
In all of these methods, it is desirable to administer the antioxidant or mixture thereof in the diet of the animal.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The diet fed to the adult companion pet, for example canine and feline is the standard normal diet fed to an animal of that age. Below is a typical diet for a canine of 1 to 6 years of age.
| ||TABLE 1 |
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| ||Component ||Target |
| || |
| ||Protein (% of dry matter) ||23 |
| ||Fat (% of dry matter) ||15 |
| ||Phosphorous (% of dry matter) ||0.6 |
| ||Sodium (% of dry matter) ||0.3 |
| || |
Adding significant quantities of an antioxidant or mixture thereof to the companion adult pet diet can bring about delay of the onset of demonstrative changes in the behavior, particularly the deterioration of mental capacity, as specifically shown by problem-solving capacity, in an aged pet. The term, adult, is intended to mean, in general, a canine of at least 1 to 6 years and a feline of at least 1 to 6 years. An aged dog or cat is 7 years and above.
The loss of mental capacity for canines and felines has been observed for a number of years. This loss of mental capacity is manifested in numerous ways. For a canine, for example, it can be manifested as disorientation, house soiling, altered sleep-wake patterns, decreased or altered interaction with humans and other pets, and inability to learn and concentrate. These conditions can be manifested in felines as well. Alzheimer's, as exhibited in man, is not found in canines and felines.
Many theories have been advanced for this loss in mental capacity. To date, the inventors are unaware of any dietary course of action, which inhibits this loss of mental capacity or can actually bring about a positive change in mental capacity as measured by an objective parameter in dogs and cats.
The inventors have succeeded in accomplishing delaying the onset of this deterioration. By using the diet of their invention in adult companion pets it can be shown that aged pets mental capacity can be maintained for a longer period of time. Essentially the deterioration of mental capacity can be stopped or delayed. Memory and learning ability can be improved. Overall mental alertness can be enhanced. Age related cognitive decline could be slowed. With respect to Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome its progress can be slowed in aged dogs and clinical signs associated with this Syndrome can be controlled. Prophylaxis where appropriate and pets in need of these components are the target group.
The component in the diet, which accomplishes this is an antioxidant or mixture thereof. An antioxidant is a material that quenches a free radical. Examples of such materials include foods such as Ginkgo Biloba, citrus pulp, grape pomace, tomato pomace, carrot and spinach, all preferably dried as well as various other materials such as beta-carotene, selenium, coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), lutein, tocotrienols, soy isoflavones, S-adenosylmethionine, glutathione, taurine, N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, 1-carnitine and the like. Vitamin E can be administered as a tocopherol or a mixture of tocopherols and various derivatives thereof such as esters like vitamin E acetate, succinate, palmitate, and the like. The alpha form is preferable but beta, gamma and delta forms can be included. The d form is preferable but racemic mixtures are acceptable. The forms and derivatives will function in a Vitamin E like activity after ingestion by the pet. Vitamin C can be administered in this diet as ascorbic acid and its various derivatives thereof such as calcium phosphate salts, cholesteryl salt, 2-monophosphate, and the like which will function in a vitamin C like activity after ingesting by the pet. They can be in any form such as liquid, semisolid, solid and heat stable form. Alpha-lipoic acid can be administered into the diet as alpha lipoic acid or as a lipoate derivative as in U.S. Pat. No. 5,621,117, racemic mixtures, salts, esters or amides thereof. L-carnitine can be administered in the diet and various derivatives of carnitine such as the salts such as the hydrochloride, fumarate and succinates, as well as acetylated carnitine, and the like can be used.
The quantities administered in the diet, all as wt % (dry matter basis) of the diet, are calculated as the active material, per se, that is measured as free material. The maximum amounts employed should not bring about toxicity. At least about 100 ppm or at least about 150 ppm of Vitamin E can be used. A preferred range of about 500 to about 1,000 ppm can be employed. Although not necessary a maximum of about 2000 ppm or about 1500 ppm is generally not exceeded. With respect to Vitamin C at least about 50 ppm is used, desirably at least about 75 ppm and more desirably at least about 100 ppm. A nontoxic maximum can be employed. The quantity of alpha-lipoic acid can vary from at least about 25, desirably at least about 50 ppm, more desirably about 100 ppm. Maximum quantities can vary from about 100 ppm to 600 ppm or to an amount which remains non toxic to the pet. A preferred range is from about 100 ppm to about 200 ppm. For 1-carnitine about 50 ppm, desirably about 200 ppm, more desirably about 300 ppm for canines are a useful minimum. For felines, slightly higher minimums of 1-carnitine can be employed such as about 100 ppm, 200 ppm, and 500 ppm. A nontoxic maximum quantity can be employed, for example, less than about 5,000 ppm. For canines, lower quantities can be employed, for example, less than about 5,000 ppm. For canines a preferred range is about 200 ppm to about 400 ppm. For felines a preferred range is about 400 ppm to about 600 ppm.
Beta-carotene at about 1- 15 ppm can be employed.
Selenium at about 0.1 up to about 5 ppm can be employed.
Lutein at least about 5 ppm can be employed.
Tocotrienols at least about 25 ppm can be employed.
Coenzyme Q10 at least about 25 ppm can be employed.
S-adenosylmethionine at least about 50 ppm can be employed.
Taurine at least about 1000 ppm can be employed.
Soy isoflavones at least about 25 ppm can be used.
N-acetylcysteine at least about 50 ppm can be used.
Glutathione at least about 50 ppm can be used.
Gingko Biloba at least 50 ppm of extract can be used.
The following are raw ingredients that are high in ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbing capacity) content. When added to the diet as 1% inclusions (for a total of 5% substitution for a low ORAC ingredient such as corn) they increased the ORAC content of the overall diet and increased the ORAC content of the plasma of the 25 animals which ate the diet containing these components. Preferably, any ingredient with an ORAC content >25 umole of Trolox equivalents per gram of dry matter could be used if added at 1% combination with four other 1% ingredients for a total of 5% addition to the diet.
Corn gluten meal
Seventeen adult beagle dogs 2-4 years of age (control n=8, antioxidant-enriched n=9) were randomly placed into a control or enriched diet group. The control diet contained 59 ppm Vitamin E and <32 ppm Vitamin C. The test diet had 900 ppm Vitamin E and 121 ppm Vitamin C, 260 ppm 1-carnitine and 135 ppm alpha lipoic acid. Approximately 1 month after starting the diet, the first problem-solving task given to dogs was a landmark discrimination learning task, which is a test of spatial attention (Milgram et al., 1999 Milgram, N. W., Adams, B., Callahan, H., Head, E., Mackay, B., Thirlwell, C., & Cotman (1999), C. W. Landmark Discrimination Learning in the Dog. Learning & Memory, 6:54-61).