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Evaluation of total dietary fiber concentration and composition of commercial diets used for management of diabetes mellitus, obesity, and dietary fat-responsive disease in dogs

Amy K. Farcas DVM, MS1, Jennifer A. Larsen DVM, PhD2, Tammy J. Owens DVM3, Richard W. Nelson DVM4, Philip H. Kass DVM, MPVM, PhD5, and Andrea J. Fascetti VMD, PhD6
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  • 1 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.
  • | 2 Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 3 Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 5 Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 6 Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

Objective—To determine total dietary fiber (TDF) concentration and composition of commercial diets used for management of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and dietary fat-responsive disease in dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—Dry (n = 11) and canned (8) canine therapeutic diets.

Procedures—Insoluble and soluble dietary fiber (IDF and SDF), high-molecular-weight SDF (HMWSDF), and low-molecular-weight SDF (LMWSDF) concentrations were determined. Variables were compared among diets categorized by product guide indication, formulation (dry vs canned), and regulatory criteria for light and low-fat diets.

Results—SDF (HMWSDF and LMWSDF) comprised a median of 30.4% (range, 9.4% to 53.7%) of TDF; LMWSDF contributed a median of 11.5% (range, 2.7% to 33.8%) of TDF. Diets for diabetes management had higher concentrations of IDF and TDF with lower proportions of SDF and LMWSDF contributing to TDF, compared with diets for treatment of fat-responsive disease. Fiber concentrations varied within diet categories and between canned and dry versions of the same diet (same name and manufacturer) for all pairs evaluated. Diets classified as light contained higher TDF and IDF concentrations than did non-light diets. All canned diets were classified as low fat, despite providing up to 38% of calories as fat.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets provided a range of TDF concentrations and compositions; veterinarians should request TDF data from manufacturers, if not otherwise available. Consistent responses to dry and canned versions of the same diet cannot necessarily be expected, and diets with the same indications may not perform similarly. Many diets may not provide adequate fat restriction for treatment of dietary fat-responsive disease.

Abstract

Objective—To determine total dietary fiber (TDF) concentration and composition of commercial diets used for management of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and dietary fat-responsive disease in dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—Dry (n = 11) and canned (8) canine therapeutic diets.

Procedures—Insoluble and soluble dietary fiber (IDF and SDF), high-molecular-weight SDF (HMWSDF), and low-molecular-weight SDF (LMWSDF) concentrations were determined. Variables were compared among diets categorized by product guide indication, formulation (dry vs canned), and regulatory criteria for light and low-fat diets.

Results—SDF (HMWSDF and LMWSDF) comprised a median of 30.4% (range, 9.4% to 53.7%) of TDF; LMWSDF contributed a median of 11.5% (range, 2.7% to 33.8%) of TDF. Diets for diabetes management had higher concentrations of IDF and TDF with lower proportions of SDF and LMWSDF contributing to TDF, compared with diets for treatment of fat-responsive disease. Fiber concentrations varied within diet categories and between canned and dry versions of the same diet (same name and manufacturer) for all pairs evaluated. Diets classified as light contained higher TDF and IDF concentrations than did non-light diets. All canned diets were classified as low fat, despite providing up to 38% of calories as fat.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Diets provided a range of TDF concentrations and compositions; veterinarians should request TDF data from manufacturers, if not otherwise available. Consistent responses to dry and canned versions of the same diet cannot necessarily be expected, and diets with the same indications may not perform similarly. Many diets may not provide adequate fat restriction for treatment of dietary fat-responsive disease.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Farcas (amyfarcas@gmail.com).

Dr. Farcas' present address is Veterinary Nutrition Care, PO Box 7024, San Carlos, CA 94070.

Dr. Owens' present address is the Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Supported by the Center for Companion Animal Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, and by Barbara Smith.

Presented in poster form at the 14th Annual American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition and Research Symposium, Nashville, Tenn, June 2014.