Do you want to know at least 7 ways seaweed to help your ageing pet? We are all familiar with the reputation the Japanese people have for good health well into their senior years. Scientific study after study has shown a regular diet of seaweed is the main reason for the increased longevity. Science has also shown that it’s not just humans that benefit from eating seaweed. Our pets, particularly those who have been our companions for many years, can also benefit from the addition of seaweed in their diet.
1. Balance Gut Microbiota
Seaweed balances the gut microbiota. It is important for your pet to have an abundance of healthy bacteria in the gut. Seaweed is a prebiotic that feeds healthy bacteria causing bioactive metabolites such as short chain fatty acids to be released into the blood stream. These compounds travel throughout the body reducing symptom of ageing by increasing cellular metabolism and organ function. (Sekirov, Russell et al. 2010)
2. Seaweed improves ageing joints
Inflammation in joints is common in ageing animals, including humans. Seaweed contains compounds called sulphated galactans which work to reduce inflammation in a similar way to aspirin. The benefit is seaweed is that it has no nasty side effects and is safe for use in pets. As an added bonus, the metabolites from good gut bacteria also has anti-inflammatory effects. (Makkar and Chakraborty 2017)
3. Seaweed is Nutrient Rich
Seaweed is a good source if magnesium and calcium. Both are needed for healthy bones. Osteoporosis happens in ageing dogs as well as ageing humans. Bone loss is inevitable with ageing, but good nutritional support lessen bone loss and delays symptoms like bone pain, hairline fractures and major life threatening fractures. (Ariffin, Abdullah et al. 2018)
4. Seaweed helps the heart.
In ageing animals cardiac function may begin to deteriorate. Seaweed provides potassium that helps regulate heart rhythm. It also `moderates smooth muscle contraction so pressure in the arteries is reduced. Studies have also shown fibrous collagen build up in the heart is removed by a diet of seaweed, enabling the heart to contract more easily. (Matanjun, Mohamed et al. 2010)
5. Seaweed balances nutrient deficiencies
As pets age they have different nutrient requirements. Sometimes it is hard to change their favourite feed, so nutrient deficiencies may go unattended. Symptoms such as tiredness, poor coat, brittle claws, scaling skin may all be signs of an underlying deficiency. Seaweed is a functional food rather than a supplement, so it is packed with all essential vitamins and minerals, as well as plant sterols in abundance. All nutrients are in a biologically stable form hence bioavailability is increased, making it easier for your ageing pet to make use of the nutrients. (Abirami and Kowsalya 2011). Seaweed is free of heavy metals
6. Seaweed helps prevent cancer
Many studies have shown that seaweed has multiple mechanisms to help prevent cancer. (Kumar, Ganesan et al. 2014, Kim, Lee et al. 2019)
7. Seaweed increases immunity
Ageing means your pets immune system is not functioning as well as it once did. This puts your pet at greater risk from infection or parasites. Seaweed helps the immune system through up regulation of good gut bacteria. Also provides a blance of vitamins used in immune cells. (Ravaglia, Forti et al. 2000, Negishi, Mori et al. 2013). It is true for production animals as well.
Just 7 Ways Seaweed Can Help Your Ageing Pet?
There are more health benefits than these 7 if we look at how seaweed can assist in humans. It can be hard to understand if pets have any psychological issues, that in humans can be determined. So give your companion the best; and give them a small amount of seaweed. (1 to 2g per day may be sufficient. (Biosea Pet Probiotics)
YOUR CAT GETS OLD ALSO
CARE FOR YOUR AGED COMPANION
 Abirami, R. and S. Kowsalya (2011). “Nutrient and nutraceutical potentials of seaweed biomass Ulva lactuca and Kappaphycus alvarezii.” Nong Ye Ke Xue Yu Ji Shu 5(1). (ResearchGate)
 Ariffin, F. D., A. Abdullah, S. H. Z. Ariffin and C. K. Meng (2018). “Macronutrients content of Red Seaweed Kappaphycus alvarezii and Kappaphycus striatum.” Jurnal Sains Kesihatan Malaysia (Malaysian Journal of Health Sciences) 15(2).
 Kim, J., J. Lee, J. H. Oh, H. J. Chang, D. K. Sohn, A. Shin and J. Kim (2019). “Associations among dietary seaweed intake, c-MYC rs6983267 polymorphism, and risk of colorectal cancer in a Korean population: a case–control study.” European journal of nutrition: 1-12. (Link)
 Kumar, K. S., K. Ganesan, K. Selvaraj and P. S. Rao (2014). “Studies on the functional properties of protein concentrate of Kappaphycus alvarezii (Doty) Doty–An edible seaweed.” Food chemistry 153: 353-360. (ScienceDirect)
 Makkar, F. and K. Chakraborty (2017). “Antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory potential of sulphated polygalactans from red seaweeds Kappaphycus alvarezii and Gracilaria opuntia.” International Journal of Food Properties 20(6): 1326-1337.
 Matanjun, P., S. Mohamed, K. Muhammad and N. M. Mustapha (2010). “Comparison of cardiovascular protective effects of tropical seaweeds, Kappaphycus alvarezii, Caulerpa lentillifera, and Sargassum polycystum, on high-cholesterol/high-fat diet in rats.” Journal of medicinal food 13(4): 792-800.
 Negishi, H., M. Mori, H. Mori and Y. Yamori (2013). “Supplementation of elderly Japanese men and women with fucoidan from seaweed increases immune responses to seasonal influenza vaccination.” The Journal of nutrition 143(11): 1794-1798. (PubMed)
 Ravaglia, G., P. Forti, F. Maioli, L. Bastagli, A. Facchini, E. Mariani, L. Savarino, S. Sassi, D. Cucinotta and G. Lenaz (2000). “Effect of micronutrient status on natural killer cell immune function in healthy free-living subjects aged≥ 90 y.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 71(2): 590-598.(Pubmed)
 Sekirov, I., S. L. Russell, L. C. M. Antunes and B. B. Finlay (2010). “Gut microbiota in health and disease.” Physiological reviews 90(3): 859-904.
 Evans, Frank & Critchley, Alan. (2013). Seaweeds for animal production use. Journal of Applied Phycology. 26. 10.1007/s10811-013-0162-9. (ResearchGate)