OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of feeding traditional and renal protective foods (RPF) supplemented with functional food bioactives on glomerular filtration rate (GFR), lean body percent (LB%), and selected circulating biomarker and metabolite concentrations in a geriatric dog model.
DESIGN: Randomized block design and cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. dog colony.
PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-one geriatric dogs (mean age, 10.4; range, 7.9-14.2 years) and 30 mature-adult dogs (mean age, 5.0; range, 3.3-6.9 years).
INTERVENTION: Geriatric dogs were fed one of three foods (n = 27 per group) for 6 months: a traditional RPF (control) that was energy dense and mildly protein-restricted, or control food supplemented with increasing amounts of functional food bioactives: fish oil, lipoic acid, fruits and vegetables, and higher quality protein sources [functional foods one (FF1) and two (FF2)]. Geriatric dogs were compared before and after the feeding trial with mature adult dogs.
MEASUREMENTS: Renal function was assessed by GFR, LB% was determined by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and circulating biomarkers and metabolites were measured in blood.
RESULTS: Before the feeding trial, GFR (+28.2%), LB% (+18.6%), and serum total protein (+10.0%) were higher in mature versus healthy geriatric dogs (all P<0.001). Geriatric dogs consuming all three foods increased (P<0.001) GFR over time; group averages ranged from 13.0-16.9%. Dogs fed the highest supplemented level of bioactives (FF2) had lower (P<0.001) symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA) concentrations (-14.3%). Feeding functional foods did not alter body weight, but increased (P<0.001) serum protein concentration (+6.7%).
CONCLUSION: Supplementation with functional food bioactives can temporarily reverse the age-associated decline in renal function and serum total protein.