alfalfa… natural vitamin/mineral source
barley grass…natural vitamin/mineral source
digestive enzymes…perform metabolic functions of the body
EFAs…essential fatty acids required to perform essential body functions and maintain health
flaxseed /oil… contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids
garlic…anti bacterial, anti fungal, blood thinner
kelp…rich source of vitamins and trace minerals
MSM… naturally occuring sulphur
phytoestrogen…(plant estrogen) .click on name to follow link
spirulina…rich source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
Vitamin C…Vitamin C supplement to pormote acidity asorbic acid . Vit C supplement to promote alkalinity is sodium ascorbate.
Vitamin E… anti-oxident, strenthens immune system, anti-ageing, strengthens circ. system/heart
wheatgrass… rich source of vitamins and trace minerals
MethylSulfonylMethane (MSM)… A Sulfur Compount Essential to our Physical Well-Being
MSM is an organic sulfur compound found in vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy products. It is a crystalline derivative of DMSO, a product which was popular in the alternative health community during the previous decade. Contrary to popular hype, this product is not a natural food (anymore than refined sugar or any other isolated nutrient is a natural food.) It does, however, appear to have some potential as a health aid in certain diseases, particularly those involving structural breakdown.
According to some of the popular literature on this substance, MSM is abundant in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, but is highly unstable and is lost through cooking. (As a side: drinking theliquid used to cook your vegetables or using waterless cookware are excellent ways to prevent the loss of this and other nutrients.)
Since most americans are on a diet of overcooked and over processed foods, the MSM which would naturally be found in their diet may be missing.
MSM is one of hundreds of naturally occurring suflur compound in foods. Sulfur is crucial in the process of maintaining a vital healthy body and mind. It is part of the cellualr structure and necessary for effecting repairs in the body. It promotes thehealth of hair, skin, hails, andjoints. Sulfur is also part ofour immune systems. It has natural disinfectant properties.
The sulfur in MSM is in a form that the body can easily utilize. There are currently no know side effects of taking MSM. I is water soluble and it appears the body will just flush out any excess that it doesn’t need. However, because it is an isolated phyto-nutrient, it is theoretically possible one could take too much. Excess sufur in the body isknown to contribute to skin rashes and intermittent eruptions, scalp problems, systemic itching taxed liver functions, headaches, and over-acidity of the blood. (sulfur is one of the acid-forming electrolytes in the blood.) While MSM may cause none of these problems, if any of these problems do appear while taking this product, you may simply be getting too muc sulfur.
MSM works with vitamins and amino acids to help build healthy cells. If we do not have enough MSM in our bodies they are unable to build these cells and various health problems can result. MSM is one of the important phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients) we are discovering in our foods. Science is now beginning to recognize that food contains many substances besides vitamins and minerals which contribute to our health. Eating a wide variety of natural foods helps to ensure that we are getting all of the substances our bodies require for optimal health.
MSM is a supplement people can use (for their birds….added by me) to help makeup for the poor quality of food they eat. However, keep in mind that MSM is only one of hundreds, if not thousands, of substances found in our foods which probably contribute to good health. So, it shouldn’t be taken as an excuse for not eating (or feeding your bird) properly.
MSM is reported to be most effective when taken with protein, vvitamin C and trace minerals, the other nutrients known to help rebuild tissue. Taking about 1000 mg of MSM for every 30 pounds of body weight (take tow or theree times throughtout the day) is a good amount, although you may wish to start with a smaller dose and work up.
Then they list a number of conditions for which MSM may help. Some of them are: painful joints, congested breathing, flaky/itchy skin, low energy, allergies, skin disorder in pets; yeast infections,
Found this site very interesting. Especially the part about spraying on the bird’sfeathers, as quoted below. http://members.tripod.com/~eubiotics/index-4.html MSM can be put in a sprayer bottle, with distilled water, at again, one teaspoon (or four grams) to approximately 10 ounces of water, and sprayed on the skin, or on the face as a refresher, or on the fur of your cat or dog, and on the feathers of your bird. Feather/beak syndrome, whereby the bird is self-immolating, and pulling out its feathers, is said to be an MSM and Vitamin C deficiency. Regards, Linda
Enzymes are catalysts in the body. Catalysts initiate some chemical reactions and speed up others. Without these catalysts, the body would cease to live. Each enzyme is specific to one biochemical reaction. Consequently there are many different kinds enzymes performing body functions. Vitamins are considered co-enzymes. In other words, they work in conjunction with enzymes helping these metabolic and biochemical reactions to take place.
Vitamins and enzymes work together to help convert the macronutrients in food (protein, carbohydrates, fat) into forms useful for metabolism. In fact, most enzymes are composed of a protein and an essential mineral or viatmin. Without the presence of the co-nutrient, the enzyme cannot perform properly.
Zinc is necessary for the enzyme that activates vitamin A’s function in vision. Another enzyme, proline hydroxylase, is involved in collagen synthesis. It requires vitamin C to perform its function of healing wounds and prevention of easy bruising and bleeding. There may be sufficient proline hydroxylase secreted by the pancreas, but without vitamin C, it can’t function.
Digestive enzymes work in the digestive tract. The suffix *ase* is an indication that the word refers to an enzyme responsible for breaking down the structure of a molecule into a form that is usable by the body. For example:
Protease breaks down protein Lipase breaks down fat Amalyase breaks down starch (into simple sugars) Lactase breaks down lactose (milk sugar) Cellulase breaks down cellulose (the cell walls of plants)
It is the function of the body’s pancreas to produce enzymes that the body uses (protease, lipase, amylase). However, if the pancrease malfunctions, it does not produce the enzymes necessary for metabolism. Many physicians believe that pancreatic insufficiency is at the root of many degenerative diseases, including cancer.
Food allergies are sometimes a result of insufficient proteases being secreted by the pancreas. Food molecules must be large in order to elicit an allergic response. Sometimes the administration of pancreatic enzymes is enough to prevent food alleries.
When the pancreas does not produce sufficient enzymes (for whatever reason) to keep the body functioning properly, then supplemental enzymes from plant sources can be administered.
Bromelain from pineapple and papain from papaya are both proteases. They break down protein molecules into amino acids. Bromelain has additional use as an anti-inflammatory, and helps to reduce clot formation in the arteries.
Some species of a fungus, aspergillus, produce the enzymes amylase, lipase, and cellulase. These aspergillus species are specially cultured to produce the required enzymes.
When I administer supplemental digestive enzymes, I like to use Prozyme because it contains protease, lactase, amylase, cellulase, and lipase. It helps to make all of the macronutrients more digestable, not just the proteins.
The manufacturers of Prozyme make a product for humans, one for dogs, and another for birds. The reason they make a separate one for birds is because people have complained that the carrier they use for the enzymes is lactose, and birds can’t digest lactose. I just use the same for the birds and I do for my dogs because the product contains lactase, which will digest the lactose carrier.
I use Prozyme whenever I feed my dogs vegetables or dry kibble because the cellulase will help break down the cellulose from the plant cell walls. In nature, canines consume much of their vegtation predigested from their prey. Prozyme would also be useful for dogs having problem with pancreatic insufficiency and food allergies. German Shepherds seem to have problems with this disease. The number I have listed for Prozyme is 800-522-5537
Birds with PDD would benefit from enzyme therapy. The food will be predigested for them and will be more likely to be absorbed whether the proventriculus is functioning properly or not. Babies with crop problems will also benefit from the addition of prozyme in the formula. Another use for enzyme therapy in birds could be plucking problem from food allergies….unless the *food allergy* is actually a chemical allergy from preservatives, colors, flavors. etc.
As long as a bird is healthy and functioning normally, I don’t see a reason for adding enzymes. However, if a bird is ill for any reason, I believe the addition of enzymes would benefit.
From Pam: I’ve found a pretty decent book titled “Food Enzymes…The Missing Link to Radiant Health” by Humbart Santillo, MH, N.D., 94 pages, price $7.95.
The chapter headings are as follows:
What an Enzyme Is What Do Enzymes Do in the Body? How Do Enzymes Get Their Names? Where Do We Get Our Enzymes? How Food Enzymes Aid Digestion Enzymes and Longevity Enzymes and Their Relationship to Disease Endocrine System and Enzymes Obesity and Circulatory Diseases Raw Food Diet and Predigestion Body, Mind and Enzymes Detoxification and Enzymes Children and Enzymes The Use of Enzymes in the Prevention of Allergies and Candida Sports – Enzymes – and Nutrition Who Should Take Enzymes? Juicing, Enhancements, and Alternatives
The author provides a list of 42 references in the back including “Chemical Reviews,” “Journal of Experimental Medicine,” “Journal of Clinical Investigations,” “American Journal of Digestion, Disease & Nutrition,” “Journal of Experimental Zoology,” “Nagoya Journal of Medical Science,” “Journal of Nutrition” and several books.
Page 10: “Realizing that the lack of enzymes can be a predisposing cause of disease substantiates the importance of enzymes. There is much literature which tries to establish that toxicity and genetics are the predisposing cause of disease. These are true statements, but the important thing to keep in mind is that all cellular activity is initiated by enzymes. Enzymes break down toxic substances so that the body can eliminate them without damaging the eliminative organs.”
Page 12: “Enzymes are always a part of animal and plant life. They are a component of living matter. Animals in the wild consume large amounts of enzymes as a result of their primary raw food diets. This aids in the digestive process, taking stress off organs such as the pancreas, liver, and spleen which would otherwise have to produce large amounts of enzymes. This causes unwarranted stress on these organs and body tissues, thus decreasing the longevity of the body.” “There are three major classes of enzymes: (1) metabolic enzymes (enzymes that work in blood, tissues, and organs), (2) food enzymes from raw food, and (3) digestive enzymes.” “Our organs are run by metabolic enzymes. These enzymes take food substances and build them into healthy tissue and have numerous other duties. One authority found ninety-eight enzymes working in the arteries alone.” “Since 1968, thirteen hundred enzymes have been identified. A shortage of these enzymes may cause serious health problems.” “Nature has placed enzymes in food to aid in the digestive process instead of forcing the enzymes secreted in our bodies to do all the work. It is to be remembered that we inherited an enzyme reserve at birth and this quantity can be decreased as we age by eating an enzyme-deficient diet.”
Page 14: “Another point of paramount importance is that a percentage of enzymes which are taken orally, or the ones already present in raw food, can be absorbed in the intestines and utilized in the body’s metabolic processes to help prevent enzyme depletion….”
Page 16: “In one experiment described in their book, “Enzymes Therapy,” certain enzymes were tagged with a radioactive dye to see if these enzymes could be followed through the digestive tract into the bloodstream. It was shown through electrophoretic investigations that the radioactive dye tagged to the enzymes could be found in the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, lungs, duodenum, and urine.”
Page 18: “…It was also demonstrated by Dr. Boas, as reported by Dr. Howell, that ‘the enzymes in bananas were activated in the intestines to aid in the digestive process.’ This also shows that not all enzymes are destroyed in the stomach, but merely inactivated there and then reactivated again in the intestines.” “This important point was also proven by a Russian researcher, Dr. Matveev. He demonstrated that oxidase and catalase, which are enzymes supplied from carrot juice, were inactivated in the stomach because of the acidity, and then reactivated again in the alkalinity of the small intestines.”
Page 46: “Research has shown that for the first forty-five minutes to one hour, a good percentage of food can be predigested in the stomach by food enzymes or supplemental enzymes before reaching the small intestine. At this time, the pancreas secretes its protein, fat, and starch-digestive enzymes into the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).”
Page 62: “Dr. W.H. Taylor of Oxford University investigated the digestive pH of the stomach. He found there to be two pH zones. At the beginning of protein digestion in the enzyme-stomach, the pH ranges from 3.4 to 4.0. As digestion continues, the pH becomes more acidic, ranging from approximately 1.6 to 2.4.” “In this research paper, Dr. Taylor stated that the body’s enzyme, pepsin, functions best in a pH between 1.5 and 2.5. This means that at the beginning of digestion in the stomach, when the pH is 3 to 4, pepsin is not at it’s optimum digestive capability. In other words, when the food is in the predigestive stomach, pepsin has little activity. As the stomach becomes more acidic, in approximately 1/2 to one hour after food is eaten, pepsin’s activity increases.” “On the other hand, bromelin was found to be active in a pH range of 3 to 8. It was not only found active in the stomach’s higher pH ranges (from 3 to 4), but was also found in the small intestine still actively digesting protein in an alkaline environment (approximately 7 to 8). This again, exemplifies the truth that some enzymes do survive the acid secretions of the stomach.”
The book seems to have plenty of references to scientific experimentation and study to be credible in its statements. I’m glad you asked for the information, Gloria, because reading more about this issue has allowed me to put together some pieces of information that I’ve had for some time in a way that they make complete sense.
First, many of the birds who feather pick among my clientele eat largely cooked and or processed diets, ie table food. Heretofore, I’d surmised that perhaps they were reacting to additives in the food.
Second, the epidemiological study done by Joleen Brisco this past year seemed to indicate that eating a diet that consisted of over 50% pellets was a predisposing factor in feather picking cases.
Third, every once in awhile, I get a report that the addition of the product Prozymes has improved feather picking in certain birds.
Certainly provides food for thought….