Senior Dogs - Intelligence and Diet
We've all heard that certain supplements may help reverse cognitive aging in humans, but it seems there is hope for an old dog that is losing cognitive function too and that supplements are the answer. Researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, the University of Toronto, University California/Berkeley, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and Juvenon, Inc. published a study in 2007 in the FASEB Journal. It was produced by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.
The research was with these two supplements: acetyl-l-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid. They are researching these nutrients ability to help with the repair of neurodegeneration and cognitive decline that's common in the aging process in humans. These researchers saw improvement in geriatric beagle dog's ability to learn new tricks that is to say tasks they hadn't done before. These two nutrients are antioxidants. They think that they help decrease mitochondrial decay in the cell.
In this study they taught inbred older beagles to find a treat. They had to learn to identify signs like a yellow wooden peg. The scientists used scent controls too so they couldn't use their sense of smell. In a task, four of six dogs that had been given the supplements found the food because they could identify the marker. Two dogs on the non-supplemented diet found the treat.
Dogs are just like their owners; as you grow older most humans show some memory loss and lose their ability to problem solve. Dogs grow older faster because of their lifespan and the onset of memory or cognitive problems could develop faster than one would think.
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