Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Carcinogenic pet food

  1. Aug 13, 2016 #1
    After reading on the World Health Organization's warning that processed meat is carcinogenic (in humans), even in small daily doses, I went on to investigate if this finding also applies to pets, and found this study:

    "Twenty-five commercial pet foods were analyzed for mutagenicactivity using the Ames/Salmonella test with strain TA98 and added metabolic activation. All but one gave a positive mutagenic response. Fourteen of these samples were analyzed for heterocyclicaminemutagens/carcinogens and all but one contained 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx) and 10 of 14 contained 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP) as analyzed by HPLC and confirmed by photodiode array peak matching. From these findings it is hypothesized that there is a connection between dietary heterocyclicamines and cancer in animals consuming these foods."

    Unfortunately I can't access the full paper, but I presume they tested with dogs and cats. If you find anything else about this topic I'd be glad to read it, I'm considering switching my cat's diet to a raw diet.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hmm. Note the use of the word hypothesized in the abstract. That means there needs to be more study. No testing with dogs and cats apparently.

    Raw food is an alternative. You can buy chubs of ground meat/vegetables, frozen, for pets at some grocery stores. However, processed canned food is shelf stable for long periods. Raw meat is not - meaning that you may be reducing cancer risk (reduce not eliminate) long term and simultaneously increasing the risk of food borne illness and death. It is a trade off. So handle your raw food carefully. I feed my dogs raw chicken for what it is worth, but carcinogenesis is not one of the reasons.

    Cancer is not a single disease. http://www.cancer.gov/types -> for us humans.

    It is basically caused two ways: genetic (inherited) and environmental. Genetic causes are circa 5% of cancers, environmentally induced cancers are about 95%. So what you are doing is eliminating one exposure factor.

    What I am saying is: consider that you are maybe placating yourself about helping your cat. This may be some help for the cat but it in no way is it a guaranteed 100% win. If the cat really likes raw food, go for it. Make the cat happy. And make yourself a little happier too.

    In a more pessimistic view: there are a lot more immediate concerns about your cat's health. Keeping your cat 100% indoors is a great start.
  4. Aug 14, 2016 #3

    Fervent Freyja

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What do you mean by raw diet? Giving them uncooked food loaded with bacteria?
  5. Aug 16, 2016 #4
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Threads - Carcinogenic food Date
Medical Ultra-processed Food = Greater Cancer Risk Feb 16, 2018
Book on the history of food habits May 31, 2017
Parabens and Carcinogens May 7, 2011
Polyurethane - toxic/carcinogenic? Apr 7, 2007