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Immune Compromise

The immune system has its own appetite. It is particularly sensitive to protein, antioxidant, essential fatty acid (omega-3 & 6, and monoene), and micronutrient deficiencies. Starch displaces immune nutrients in the diet and disrupts metabolic and immune regulatory functions. Disease and infection is not actually an assault from some agent outside the body, it is a breakdown of the body’s immune defenses. This is why, in any given population, regardless of exposure to infective agents and toxins, some will become ill, others not. An immune system that is not firing on all cylinders because of improper food fuel (starch) permits disease to take root unchallenged.

• “…protein deficiency alone can impair immune responsiveness for prolonged periods, perhaps permanently, if imposed during critical periods of immune ontogeny…” Gershwin, M. E., et al. Nutrition and Immunity. Proc Nutr Soc, 12, 1987.
• “…protein supplement accelerated the development of immunity to O circumcincta…”Coop, R.L., et al. Effect of dietary protein supplementation on the development of immunity to Ostertagia circumcincta... Research in Veterinary Science, 59 (1), 24-29, 1995.
• “…8% protein diet [compared to 15% and 33%]…difficulty expressing a competent immune response to pathogenic challenge in the wild.” Lochmiller, R. L., et al. Relationship between protein nutritional status and immunocompetence... The Auk, 110 (3), 503-510, 1993.
• “...the amount and type of dietary protein impacts C. perfringens concentrations in dog faeces. Protein quality may greatly influence intestinal microbiota by changing the amount of protein that reaches the lower bowel. Lower quality proteins that are poorly digested will provide more protein to microbes inhabiting the lower bowel and increase the occurrence of proteolytic bacteria, some of which may be pathogenic and/or produce putrefactive compounds…” Lubbs, D. C., et al. Dietary protein concentration affects intestinal microbiota of adult cats: a study using DGGE and qPCR to evaluate differences in microbial populations in the feline gastrointestinal tract. Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 93 (1), 113-121, 2008.

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