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Titan blue dog food with it’s original name of Titan Gold, was released on July 1, 2002 in the UK and was launched in the US in January 2003. This is one of the very first dog food developed to enhance and protect the eyes and reduce the signs of cataracts in dogs. The product was launched at a time when the prevalence of cataracts in dogs was on the increase, and in a time when it was unclear just what impact cataracts may have on the long term health of dogs. Today, Titan Blue Dog Food has become synonymous with healthy eye and eye health in dogs.
A Brief History of Titan Blue and Cataracts
Titan Blue Dog Food was launched following a two year research project in which dogs with cataracts, their owners, veterinary surgeons and pet food experts collated and reviewed all the scientific literature, conducted research and surveys with veterinary surgeons, pet owners, and nutritionists. The results of this review of the scientific and veterinary literature highlighted the strong link between cataracts and age-related eye problems, and the emerging scientific data that indicated that dietary supplements could play an important role in the management of these conditions. These results were discussed in a number of meetings with veterinary surgeons, pet owners, and pet food companies, and an independent panel of veterinary surgeons was established in order to develop a range of quality pet food products to address the need to protect and enhance the eyes of aging dogs.
The panel of veterinary surgeons recommended that Titan Blue Dog Food’s primary nutritional benefits were focused on the eyes, and specifically on the prevention of cataracts, which at the time of the product launch were thought to be the single most common age-related eye problem in dogs, occurring in approximately 80% of all dogs over the age of 3.1
The primary nutritional benefits of Titan Blue Dog Food include:
1. Protection from Free Radicals
2. Protection from Oxidative Stress
3. Protection from Glycation (protein cross-linking)
4. Protection against Cataracts
5. Protection against Age-related Eye Disease
6. Reduced risk of Age-related Eye Disease
All of these features are highly relevant to eye health and to the primary nutritional benefits of Titan Blue Dog Food, and are detailed on the nutritional facts panels that appear on the label of Titan Blue Dog Food products.
2. Protection from Free Radicals
Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that have a single electron missing and that therefore have unpaired spins, causing them to become unstable and reactive.
There are many sources of free radicals in the body. One of the most common ones is the normal, daily metabolism of food. The free radical damage caused by this source can, however, be significantly reduced in the body by using high-quality, natural antioxidants.
As a result, the Titan Blue Dog Food label also highlights the nutritional benefits of using natural antioxidants.
3. Protection from Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress results from the damage to cells from the damaging effects of free radicals.
This damage can be caused by oxidation of certain natural molecules. This is sometimes referred to as oxidative damage, or more simply as oxidative stress.
One of the sources of oxidative stress is the production of free radicals from the metabolic activity of cells. Another is the exposure to environmental free radicals.
The most common sources of environmental free radicals are sunlight, tobacco smoke and some forms of air pollution.
The presence of oxidative stress is a contributing factor in a wide range of age-related diseases and conditions.
4. Protection against Glycation (protein cross-linking)
Glycation is a natural process whereby free radicals combine with the protein molecules of living tissue, and cross-link the molecules.
This cross-linking, and the formation of protein aggregates and insoluble material, has been observed in patients suffering from diabetes.
This is known as Advanced Glycation End-products, or AGEs.
5. Prevention of Inactivation of Thyroid Hormones
Thyroid hormones play an important role in maintaining normal metabolism and growth, and the development and function of tissues throughout the body.
Thyroid hormones are also needed by the brain for nerve cell communication and neurotransmission.
These hormones are naturally converted to inactive forms by the action of enzymes that are inactivated by free radicals.
6. Prevention of Brain and Heart Damage
The brain and heart are rich sources of oxygen-utilising tissue.
When the cells of these tissues are deprived of oxygen, they will, if untreated, begin to die.
This effect is known as ischemia.
In the presence of oxygen deprivation, the cell membrane will break down, releasing the cell contents into the interstitial fluid, and the result will be that the contents will become toxic to the tissues.
Oxidative stress, or OS, is now considered to be the single most important element that initiates this process.
7. Prevention of Skin Damage
Oxygen deprivation has a number of effects on cells:
▪ it results in the generation of reactive oxygen species,
▪ it may result in the opening of calcium channels,
▪ it results in the activation of proteolytic enzymes, and
▪ it results in the degeneration of the antioxidant enzymes
These effects, combined with the effects of free radicals on protein, make it very likely that the skin is the tissue most at risk from oxidant damage.
The effects of free radicals on the skin can be readily seen in the skin of sun-tanned people: there is a thickening of the skin caused by the generation of a protective skin surface layer rich in vitamin C (Fig. 7.1).
This illustration shows the protective skin layer formed over the dermis. The stratum corneum is shown at a thicker level than is normal. This has been caused by the generation of large amounts of vitamin C in this layer by exposure to ultraviolet radiation.**
## T H E
G L Y
When the body is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids in the cell membrane of all cell types will be transformed into isoprostanes and other prostanoids.
The prostanoids will combine with vitamin C to form a group of molecules known as glycosiloxanes. These molecules can be quite reactive and will add to the radical scavenging effects of the vitamin.
## B UILDING &, O E RGYMINES
Vitamin C has been demonstrated to act as a catalyst in the transformation of certain amino acids into other compounds, some of which have been shown to act as antioxidants in the body. A vitamin C molecule forms a bridge with the substrate amino acid and, when the bridging group is a hydroxyl group, a glycosiloxane is formed.
## S I L V C, C R A I Z O N &, O E RGYMINES
The two most common amino acids that can be transformed by vitamin C are glutamic acid and cysteine.
## S T R A I N Y
These two amino acids combine with a molecule of vitamin C to form a glycosiloxane. The vitamin C will not combine with amino acids containing sulfur to form a molecule with more than a single hydroxy group.
## G L Y
The antioxidant activity of vitamin C in human skin has been shown to occur in its gly