Pet :: Commercial cat foods contain less than expected amounts of a key nutrient

Commercial cat food may provide domestic cats with substantially less lysine ? an amino acid essential for good health ? than previously believed, scientists from New Zealand are reporting in a study scheduled for the May 2 issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a biweekly publication.

Shane M. Rutherfurd and colleagues used a new method to analyze the amounts of lysine actually available for nourishment in 20 commercial cat foods. Lysine is an “essential” amino acid, meaning that animals must get ample amounts in the diet. It is important in a range of body functions, including absorption of calcium and building muscle protein.

Termed BIOLYSINE, the new method more accurately measures the amount of lysine remaining in food after processing, which destroys some of the amino acid. The researchers found that the old, traditional test significantly overestimates the amount of nutritionally available lysine. “This overestimate ranged from 41 percent to 143 percent for the moist food and from 18 percent to 90 percent for the dry foods,” their report states.

“Available (Ileal Digestible Reactive) Lysine in Selected Pet Foods”

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