Coconut Oil – Superfood for Dogs

PAWsitivelySweetBakery_cococolada3Nutrient-rich dog treats is always my goal when I develop new products. Recently, I introduced our new Coco Colada dog treats made with pineapple and coconut oil. I chose coconut oil because it is one of the few foods classified as a "superfood." The benefits of coconut oil comes from the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) or the good fats that help improve digestion, immune system, metabolic function and assist with weight loss, thyroid health and skin and coat health.

I recently read the "Brain Food" article by Diana Laverdure and W. Jean Doddis, MS that included the incredible benefits of coconut oil. Here's an excerpt:

"Many functional nutritional ingredients don’t just benefit one part of the body; they promote health across a wide range of systems. This, of course, makes sense because the body is not made up of isolated parts (as many Western medical specialists would like us to believe); it contains an intricately related set of systems that all perform a complex, wonderfully intertwined dance. Coconut oil, omega-3 fatty acids and many of the other functional ingredients target the body holistically, producing a wide range of benefits from head to toe—or, in the case of dogs, from nose to tail.

Coconut oil possesses many therapeutic qualities, but perhaps the most amazing is its scientifically proven ability to improve brain function in older dogs and people. As the body’s supercomputer, the brain requires a lot of energy, most of which is satisfied when the body breaks down glucose from food. However, as we age, we metabolize glucose less efficiently, leaving a gap in the brain’s energy requirement.

When this occurs, alternative sources of fuel become important to fill this gap and provide much-needed energy to the brain. This is where medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), such as those contained in coconut oil, can help save the day. Unlike regular fats (which the body metabolizes slowly), MCTs break down and absorb rapidly into the bloodstream, providing a quick source of non-carbohydrate energy.

Further, they readily cross the blood-brain barrier, supplying up to 20 percent of a normal brain’s energy requirement; are important for ketone production, which serves as an additional source of “brain food”; and help the body use omega-3 fatty acids more efficiently and increase omega-3 concentrations in the brain—a good reason to give your dog both omega-3s and coconut oil (Aldrich 2009, Laflamme 2012, Wolf 2009)."

You can read the entire article here: http://thebark.com/content/brain-food

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