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There is increasing awareness about the importance of hormones, particularly to the effects over time.
Hormones are responsible for much more than simply reproduction - they also play an essential role in brain, bone and ligament development. Early spay/neuter has been linked to higher rates of hip dysplasia, fractures due to low bone density as well as tears in knee ligaments (often shown by limping and/or sudden lameness in rear legs.)
Other adverse health effects include higher incidence of cancers, urinary incontinence, hypothyroidism and other hormonally-related disorders, and greater susceptibility to infectious disease.
Although there are alternative surgeries to allow the dog or cat to retain their hormonal organs and yet become infertile, these are not widely available. Also, many rescue groups require spay/neuter at a young age. As the years go by, you may start to see the impacts of this surgery on your dog.
In order to naturally support hormonal balance and support healthy body function, flax lignan has very unique qualities.
In terms of nutritional support, flax lignans are among the most studied phytoestrogen nutrients to offset hormone imbalances created by early spaying and neutering.
The main nutritional benefits of lignans stem from:
#1) their natural phytoestrogen content to balance/modulate hormone levels for better brain, bone, and ligament development, and prevent hormone associated imbalances in older pets.
#2) their high level of inflammation and pathogen fighting anti-oxidants - lignans contain one of the highest antioxidant level (ORAC rating) of any fruit or vegetable listed in the USDA database
#3) their high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Fiber is a valuable source of prebiotics to improve overall microbiome health and host immunity, and fiber is known absorb impurities, improve bowel movements and digestion.
Research has attributed many positive associations with high dietary consumption of lignans including lower rates of the following: infections, cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, canine Cushing disease, and urinary incontinence associated with low hormones (2). Unlike pharmaceuticals, nutritional compounds like lignans never work in isolation. They are best delivered in foods where a wide spectrum of other nutrients work in synergy to produce results.
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