Monday, April 23, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
Excessive phosphate intake can harm the kidneys of cats, a new study has revealed. According to researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, too much phosphate can impede kidney function and may be partially responsible for the high occurrence of chronic kidney disease among older cats.
To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers placed 13 healthy adult cats on a high-phosphate diet, about five times the required amount. The experiment took place over the course of 29 days; feces and urine samples were collected from the cats during 10 of those days. Following this, the researchers performed endogenous creatinine clearance tests to measure serum creatinine levels.
Creatinine clearance dipped considerably and phosphate became highly available. Moreover, the researchers observed the presence of glucosuria and microalbuminuria in nine of the 13 cats. Both of these excretions are considered to be markers of renal damage.
“We were surprised to find that creatinine clearance was so strongly affected within such a short time,” said study co-author professor Ellen Kienzle.
The results, though alarming, are not unsurprising. Last year, consumer organization Stiftung Warentest discovered that the commercial cat food in Germany contained elevated levels of phosphate, particularly in wet cat food. The highest detected levels, almost nine times what’s needed by cats, was noted for being enough to cause kidney damage in a few weeks’ time. Pet foods already have phosphate in them thanks to the presence of bones and cereals. More phosphate is added in by pet food manufacturers to improve the shelf life and texture of their products. (Related: Is YOUR indoor cat or dog consuming parabens? The preservatives are poisoning pets.)
Now, the researchers plan on furthering their study by assessing the impact of various phosphate sources on cat kidneys. Additionally, they also plan on investigating the effects of phosphate solubility on the nutrient’s bioavailability.
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