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Influence of Diet on Genetics

Influence of Diet on Genetics

Influence of Diet on Genetics 
It
is probable that many factors in the environment all play their own
role in determining whether genetic susceptibility to specific diseases
ever develop into
actual problems, and one of these factors is the diet
an individual has.Genetic
defects affect the way the body process’s nutrients, as they have the
ability
to block and prevent the body being able to access and
assimilate the whole range of nutrients it needs.In
some cases, where treatment for genetic disorders is carried out
without further investigation, further ‘knock-on’ affects can happen
also;  i.e. treatment for copper storage disease consisting of the drug
Penicillamine which binds copper, also binds
zinc, thus resulting, over a
period of time, in zinc deficiency. It
is difficult, and can even be dangerous to some dogs health for all to
be given identical diets, or for owners to believe that one diet can, or
does, fit all. 
A
study done in the U.K. demonstrates this as it highlights that there is
statistical variation between dogs and their needs, based on their
individual genetics.With
a group of 7 dogs of the same breed, sex and age, it showed that 1 in
those 7
will need about 25% more calories than the average, and 1 in
those 7 will need about 25% fewer calories than the average – thus it is
right that dogs be treated as
individuals with individual needs where
diet is concerned. 
More
than 200 congenital or genetic disorders have been reported in dogs and
some
of these have an effect on the way the body is able to process
nutrients.Differences
can be seen perhaps more clearly in the obvious differences between
different breeds in dietary needs;  i.e. many pet dogs are fine and show
no ill effects when eating meat which has been frozen for long periods,
however, in this same situation, sled dogs in the Antarctic developed
scurvy, a condition which was rectified upon giving them extra
supplements of vitamins to prevent the decrease of plasma concentrations
of vitamin c in their diet so obviously needed in higher amounts by
their bodies due to the genetic disposition and way they have been bred
for the work which they do. If
we can treat our dogs as individuals and give them the diet most suited
to them as an individual, this is going to play a large role in their
general overall health, as a
large part of the immune system in in the
gut and digestive system.A strong immune system will play a large role in determining health and susceptibility
to disease. Vitamin C therapy is another area where many dogs show improvement in health.Wendell
Belfield DVM has studied the effects of vitamin C therapy for dogs and
believes that a number of pet diseases are actually not genetic, but due
to a diet deficiency in vitamin c. 
Some of these diseases include:

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