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Objective—To identify and determine the concentrations of phytoestrogens in commercial dog foods.

Sample Population—24 commercial dog foods, including 12 moist or dry extruded commercial dog foods that contained soybeans or soybean fractions and 12 foods without any soybean–related ingredients listed on the label.

Procedure—Foods were analyzed for phytoestrogen content, including 4 isoflavones (genistein, glycitein, daidzein, and biochanin A), 1 coumestan (coumestrol), and 2 lignans (secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol) by use of acid-methanol hydrolysis and high-pressure liquid chromatography with UV-absorbance detection. Phytoestrogens were identified and quantified by reference to authentic standards.

Results—Isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans were undetectable in diets that did not list soybean–related ingredients on the label. Only 1 of the 12 diets that included soybean or soybean fractions had undetectable concentrations of phytoestrogens and that product contained soy fiber. The major phytoestrogens were the isoflavones daidzein (24 to 615 µg/g of dry matter) and genistein (4 to 238 µg/g of dry matter).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Soybean and soybean fractions are commonly used ingredients in commercial dog foods. Dietary intake of phytoestrogens may have both beneficial and deleterious health effects. Our results indicated that certain commercial dog foods contain phytoestrogens in amounts that could have biological effects when ingested longterm. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:592–596)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To compare effects of short-term administration of a soy diet with those of a soy-free diet on serum thyroid hormone concentrations in healthy adult cats.

Animals—18 healthy adult cats.

Procedure—Cats were randomly assigned to receive either a soy or soy-free diet for 3 months each in a crossover design. Assays included CBC, serum biochemical profile, thyroid hormone analysis, and measurement of urinary isoflavone concentrations.

Results—Genistein, a major soy isoflavone, was identified in the urine of 10 of 18 cats prior to dietary intervention. Compared with the soy-free diet, cats that received the soy diet had significantly higher total thyroxine (T4) and free T4 (fT4) concentrations, but unchanged total triiodothyronine (T3) concentrations. The T3/fT4 ratio was also significantly lower in cats that received the soy diet. Although the magnitudes of the increases were small (8% for T4 and 14% for fT4), these changes resulted in an increased proportion of cats (from 1/18 to 4/18) that had fT4 values greater than the upper limit of the laboratory reference range. There was no significant effect of diet on any other measured parameter.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Short-term administration of dietary soy has a measurable although modest effect on thyroid hormone homeostasis in cats. Increase in T4 concentration relative to T3 concentration may result from inhibition of 5'-iodothyronine deiodinase or enhanced T3 clearance. Soy is a common dietary component that increases serum T4 concentration in cats. ( Am J Vet Res 2004; 65:586–591)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research