Sydney Banton's Masters Defence

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Recently, the consumption of grain-free diets has been linked to the development of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, with or without taurine deficiency. The focus of this thesis is on the micronutrients involved in taurine synthesis in healthy dogs fed a grain-free diet and defining the grain-free consumer via survey. Dogs supplemented with methionine had increased plasma methionine and homocysteine concentrations post-meal. However, dogs supplemented with micronutrients, creatine, carnitine and choline, did not have increased homocysteine concentrations and their taurine concentrations did not differ from dogs supplemented with taurine. This suggests a possible role for these micronutrients in grain-free diet formulation due to elevated homocysteine concentrations being linked to cardiac disease. Furthermore, the grain-free consumer was more likely to be female, follow a stricter dietary regimen and believe their dog has an allergy. It is critical to understand how pet food consumers make decisions in order to facilitate scientific knowledge transfer. 


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