Can companion animals digest carbohydrates like brown rice?

Not all carbohydrates can be digested, but one important carbohydrate that is digestible is starch such as that in rice. The digestion of starch begins in the mouth. Saliva contains the enzyme amylase, which breaks starch into the complex sugar maltose. Later on, in the small intestine, amylase is released from the pancreas and finishes off the digestion.

Cats and dogs have very short digestive systems, and they don’t chew their food well. Both facts work against thorough digestion and much of the food is excreted without absorption. That is why we recommend the addition of digestive enzymes to each meal fed your feline companion. Prozyme Plus (which we carry) has a long track record of aiding digestion in all species of animals. Veterinarians are enthusiastic in their praise for adding Prozyme enzymes because thorough digestion of food eliminates many problems that seem unrelated to diet. For example, undigested proteins have been implicated in a whole range of diseases.

Prozyme® Plus contains the concentrated enzymes aspergillus oryzae (alpha-amylase), aspergillus niger (lipase & cellulase), and bromelain derived from ananas comosus (protease) which are dehydrated fermentation products all in a base of rice starch. It is a vegan formulation and easy to use. There is no taste and because it is so concentrated it takes just a sprinkling over the food for it to do its job. We just shake it on and slightly stir the food just before serving. I use it myself whenever I eat cooked food. Raw food has enzymes intact so it doesn’t need supplementary enzymes.

Another advantage to supplemental enzymes is that it spares the body having to produce the enzymes that were lost in cooking. Our bodies manufacture thousands of enzymes (which are special proteins) but as we age the capacity to produce enzymes decreases. Enzymes are sometimes called the “life force” since older organisms contain greatly decreased enzymes. However, with supplemental enzymes added to food, the capacity to have high levels of enzymes (for all the other life functions) is maintained and youthfulness is prolonged. There are many books on this subject which go into details which you may find interesting. The books by Dr. Edward Howell are particularly interesting since he did so much original research in this field.

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