Antidepressant dog food may contain a chemical that may be linked to mental health problems
A new study has found that natural dog foods may contain traces of a class of chemical that researchers say may be associated with mental health disorders.
The study is being presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting in San Diego, California, and is the first to examine a possible link between certain natural dog products and mental health.
“Our findings suggest that the use of natural products may result in higher rates of mental illness and potentially even suicide among the dogs consuming them,” said co-author Jennifer R. Baugh, a veterinary social worker and a clinical associate professor of animal behavior at the University of California, Berkeley.
“We don’t know exactly how the chemicals may affect the animals in terms of behavior or cognition.
We don’t want to be the one to say that’s how this causes it, but we do know that the effects of these chemicals can be potentially harmful to humans.”
Baugh and her colleagues looked at data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which followed more than 1,000 high school students from birth to the age of 21, and examined the use and consumption of 100 natural and artificial products from two different companies, Nestlé PetCare and Blue Diamond Dog Foods.
They found that the prevalence of mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety, among the more than 4,500 students who participated was higher when they were eating foods from the natural brands than from the artificial ones.
Among the students who ate only natural dog food the prevalence was 13.6 per cent, while among those who ate the synthetic dog food it was 18.7 per cent.
The researchers said that the finding was consistent with previous studies showing that the consumption of natural dog brands may have a positive effect on mental health and cognition, including a reduction in anxiety and depression.
Natural products are considered more natural and more nutritious because they are naturally derived, and the ingredients are less processed, Baugh said.
Natural products have a higher percentage of ingredients that are naturally found in nature, she said.
“They’re not chemically refined products.
They’re ingredients that have been in nature for thousands of years.”
Researchers found that when they tested the synthetic products for levels of the chemicals, they did not have a significant difference in the levels of certain types of the chemical, including those linked to depression.
Bags of the synthetic brands contained concentrations of chemicals that were similar to those found in animal feed and human food, and these chemicals were detected in a range of levels in the samples, Boughts co-authors wrote in the study.
The study was published online on Wednesday in the journal Science.
The researchers also looked at the levels in synthetic dog products.
“Our study showed that synthetic products may be more harmful than natural products,” Baugh told CBC News.
“The synthetic dog product we tested contained more chemicals that we didn’t find in natural dog feed.”
The results of the study were surprising, Boulton said. Boults co‑author, Dr. Katherine R. Brown, noted that the levels were not consistent across all the ingredients in the products.
For example, synthetic products containing BPA were found to have higher levels of dioxins and more than twice the amount of diazinon, which is linked to cancer, Boucht said.
“These chemicals are a part of our body and we need to eat natural foods to be healthy,” Boulon said.
She added that Baugh and Brown’s results showed that the synthetic and natural dog ingredients are not the same.
“There are many different types of chemicals found in natural and synthetic products,” she said, and that “the chemical composition is not what matters.”
A study published last year in the Journal of Food Science found that eating dog foods is linked with mental disorders in dogs.
In that study, researchers found that consumption of dog food containing bisphenol A, or BPA, was linked to higher levels in children with ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder.
There is some research that suggests that BPA exposure is associated with increased risk of developing mental health issues.
For instance, a 2016 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that children who ate more than two meals a day of dog foods had higher levels than children who did not eat dog food.
The studies were conducted in the UK and the US, and all of the studies were performed at schools and in residential settings.
Boulton told CBC that the findings from this study are similar to a 2015 study published in the British Medical Journal.
That study, published in Pediatrics, found that more than 40 per cent of the children who developed depression were also at risk for developing mental illness.
This new study found that synthetic dog foods were associated with a higher risk of depression, anxiety and conduct disorders.
Boulons co-authored the new