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Keeping pets on a healthy diet Johnny Lopez, Ph.d. | Sat, Aug 27 2011 12:00 PM

(NAPS) - With more than 40 percent of the U.S. dog population overweight, many owners are looking for effective ways to keep their pets fit. Smaller meals and regular exercise can help, but in many cases the animal may benefit from a food ingredient that helps to metabolize fat.

Many dog owners have had recent success switching to pet foods that contain Carniking(tm), a safe and high-quality form of L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine is a natural nutrient, formally called Vitamin Bt, which is essential for energy production and fat metabolism.

L-Carnitine's role in the body is to transport long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria-the "furnaces" of the body's cells-where they are broken down and converted into energy. L-Carnitine helps to supply energy to many organs in the body, such as the heart, muscles, liver and immune cells. For example, the heart derives 75 percent of its energy from fat metabolism and relies heavily on L-Carnitine to help supply it. This is why one of the largest tissue pools of L-Carnitine can be found in the heart.

Like humans, pets are able to naturally produce about one-third of the L-Carnitine they need and must rely on the foods they eat to deliver the rest. Foods high in natural L-Carnitine include pure red meats (i.e., beef and lamb). Ingredients like chicken and fish are lower, whereas grains and vegetables are practically devoid of L-Carnitine. Since the foods dogs consume today are mixtures of many ingredients, even diets that contain red meat as the first ingredient may not contain optimum L-Carnitine concentrations.

In some cases, humans and pets do not receive enough L-Carnitine through their normal diet and supplementing L-Carnitine is recommended. Symptoms of inadequate L-Carnitine in the body include cardio muscle weakness, excessive muscle deposits of fat (lipidosis), impaired muscle tone and poor health in general.

For more information, visit www.lonza.com.

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