Seizures and diet…a correlation…
The Probable Connection between Grains and Seizures in Canines:
1. The vitamins and minerals in grains have low bioavailability to the digestive tract. (Simply, grains offer little to no nutritional value to a canine diet).
2. Grains contain components considered "anti-nutrients" that can cause negative biological consequences (including autoimmune problems, allergies, digestive, gallbladder and liver problems all of which can cause seizures). Certain auto-immune diseases (e.g. insulin dependent diabetes mellitus IDDM) increases in animal models when they are fed high cereal grain diets.
3.Grains have high phytate content which impairs mineral absorption (particularly relevant since magnesium, zinc, calcium and other mineral deficiencies are linked to seizures).
4. For canines, it is well documented that three of the most common food allergens are wheat, corn and soy, primary ingredients in many commercial dog foods. (Allergies are a cause of some seizures.)
5. In human epileptics, it is believed that the grains high in gluten content (like wheat, rye, oats) stimulate opiod receptors in the brain, making them more susceptible to seizures. Although grains further "removed" from wheat (like corn and rice) are allowed in gluten free diets, the other issues listed here concerning grains in the diet would still exist.
6. Complex carbohydrates found in grains quickly turn to sugar in the body. (Since a dog's metabolism is considerably faster than ours, this might in turn mean that a quicker crash from a sugar "high" would occur. Hypoglycemia is another cause of some seizures.)
7. Non-Supplemented canine diets of commercial foods high in cereal (grains) and vegetable proteins are likely to be deficient in amino acids. Taurine is the building block of all of the amino acids. (Deficiencies in taurine are linked to seizures and epilepsy.) Cereal grains are also low in Essential Fatty Acids, important for neurological function.If you are really interested in learning about potential problems of feeding grains, please do some reading and research. Remember that this information can/does apply to humans, who are more adapted to grains in their diet, how much more could it apply to our canines, who are not adapted to processed grains in their diets? And please keep in mind, that not all grains are created equal. We need to understand the difference in whole and sprouted grains vs. processed grains, the various gluten levels in grains, etc. and how all of these factor in to digestion and potential health problems (for canines and us humans too!).