Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I sent a letter to the makers of Innova EVO ( Natura Pet Products)

As you know, I feed Bebe Innova EVO small bites. Many people belive that high protein intake leads to kidney disease, so I thought maybe I should switch foods. However, Bebe loves her food and I hate to switch without gathering all the facts, so I emailed Natura Pet and voiced my concern. Here is what they wrote me.

Dear pet lover,
Thank you for contacting us about our products.
Natura occasionally gets questions about the effect EVO®, its line of ultra-low carbohydrate and grain-free foods and treats, has on the kidneys. Usually these concerns are related to the previously held belief that high protein intake leads to kidney disease. Although this theory has not been proven in repeated scientific studies1,2, it lingers most likely because protein restriction is part of the treatment for pets already diagnosed with kidney failure. In patients with existing kidney failure, reducing protein in the diet is likely beneficial and can potentially improve an otherwise poor appetite. The level of protein restriction that is typically recommended by veterinarians for such patients is lower than the minimum levels set by the de facto national pet food regulatory body, AAFCO. Therefore, all commercial pet foods that meet the AAFCO minimum requirement for protein are too high in protein for a pet with kidney disease. As Natura does not make any protein-restricted foods, no Natura product including the EVO® line would be appropriate for managing patients with kidney disease. In addition, no over-the counter (OTC) pet food on the market today made and/or distributed by any company is appropriate for a patient with kidney failure. Fortunately for pets with kidney disease, protein-restricted therapeutic foods are available from veterinarians. Unfortunately, no OTC or therapeutic pet food exists which can prevent the development of kidney disease.

As the innovator of the entire low carbohydrate and grain-free category of pet foods, Natura has conducted and funded a variety of studies on EVO® products and the EVO® feeding concept. Many of these studies have included monitoring the kidney health of both adult dogs and cats fed EVO® long-term. To date these studies have shown no ill effect on kidney function as measured by blood levels of creatinine. Creatinine is the most commonly available non-invasive method to determine kidney function. As kidney function decreases, creatinine increases in the blood as the kidneys are unable to as effectively clear this naturally occurring substance. In a six month long study conducted at Natura’s Belfield Center, creatinine values of adult dogs fed EVO® remained statistically unchanged. Similarly, adult cats at the University of California at Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine had stable creatinine levels after six months of feeding (data on file).
These findings provide scientific support for the safety of EVO® and are consistent with the many reports of EVO®’s success in dogs and cats since its introduction four years ago.