|New research shows that choline (from lecithin) probably is essential for normal brain development. Research at Duke University indicates that offspring from bitches fed diets supplemented with lecithin during gestation and lactation were, in effect, “smarter” than offspring from bitches fed unsupplemented diets. Brain development studies with rats tend to support the findings of the Duke researchers. These researchers found that, in laboratory rats, choline supplementation is critical during certain periods in gestation and lactation. Actually, supplementation during days 12-17 (embryonic) and days 16-30 (postnatal) is critical in rat brain development. These time periods coincide with cholinergic neuron (neurons requiring acetylcholine) formation (prenatal) and nerve - nerve connections (postnatal) in the memory area of the brain. Similar critical periods for choline (lecithin) supplementation may too exist in dogs.|
Trainers report that dogs fed lecithin containing supplements for several weeks before starting training are easier to train, learn more quickly and “know what is going on” more than dogs not fed lecithin until they arrive at the kennel for training. These trainers also recognize that dogs getting lecithin-based products are in better condition and have more stamina than unsupplemented dogs.
Enzymes are being used in state-of-the-art animal feeding to improve nutrient availability and animal performance. Enzymes allow for more complete digestion of what dogs eat, thus, essentially raising the nutritional value of the ration. Adding enzymes to diets can increase both the rate of digestion and the extent of digestion. The three most abundant components of a dry dog food are starch, protein and fat. The addition of the right enzymes (amylases (starch digesting), proteases (protein digesting) and lipases (fat digesting) ) to the ration via a supplement is an effective way of helping dogs get more of the nutrients they need to perform at their best.
It is worth noting that enzymes are heat sensitive, and the heat applied during the manufacturing of dog food is high enough that enzyme activity is destroyed. This is why feeding an enzyme containing supplement is an effective way of helping performance dogs utilize their ration more completely and attain more optimal nutrient levels to unleash their genetic potential.
Direct-fed Microorganisms (DFMs)
Direct-fed microorganisms, better known as “probiotics”, are viable (live), naturally occurring, beneficial microorganisms. Lactobacillus acidophilus, found in most yogurt products, is just one such “good” microorganism.
DFMs have long been known to help maintain desirable digestive microflora populations by warding off undesirable, deleterious microbes. The “good” bacteria defeat the “bad” microbes by several mechanisms, which include producing mild antibiotics, being more competitive for sites of attachment and/or nutrients, and by lowering intestinal pH. Daily intake of a supplement, which contains DFMs helps insure that sufficient beneficial bacteria are present to help keep the gut healthy, the dog feeling fit and ready to perform at its best... helping to “unleash” the potential.
Getting the most out of well bred high performance dogs requires a lot of time, effort, money, etc. by dog owners and trainers. However, by taking advantage of products, which utilize functional foods, including lecithin, enzymes and DFMs, to take well bred dogs to higher levels of performance, owners and trainers may attain their goal of making their dogs winners more quickly. The challenge of feeding highly bred performance dogs to be “fed as well as bred” is made easier... “unleash” the genetic potential trapped inside.