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Is a PMR diet enough?

By: Emily Hendren

Is a PMR Diet enough?

You may have come across sites or Facebook groups saying “all raw meat diets” or “ratio diets” are lacking in certain nutrients and can cause deficiencies down the road. These places are claiming a PMR diet is lacking in Zinc, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Iodine, Manganese, and the Omega 3 fatty acids EPA & DHA. We’ll discuss them further on and list where they can be found in the diet.

Firstly, an “all raw meat diet” will in fact be deficient in nutrients. Saying “all raw meat” is leaving out the important factors. A “ratio diet” isn’t just about meeting the numbers 80/10/10 but also ensuring there’s a wide variety of different animal protein, fat, organs, fish and eggs. Our carnivorous companions obtain all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a fully balanced PMR (Prey Model Raw) diet without the addition of synthetic supplements or fruits and veggies.

When it comes to the body, vitamins are produced in the gut by the natural bacteria that live there. In many cases vitamin deficiency is just a symptom of a damaged gut microbiome. Synthetic vitamins are missing cofactors and the body doesn't absorb them the same as it does with real vitamins. Real vitamins are complete while synthetic or mineral supplements will result in more useless by-products which will increase strain on the body’s filtration system. This is a sure way to lead to a toxicity.

​As far as the listed nutrients above we’ll go over Zinc first:

What is Zinc? Zinc is a mineral that’s important for strong immune function, healing wounds, and helps support normal growth. Where can it be found in a PMR diet? In many sources such as:

  • Whole Prey

  • Liver and kidney

  • Muscular organs like heart, gizzards, tongue and green tripe.

  • Muscle Meat (especially red)

  • Eggs

  • Oysters

  • Sardines

  • Salmon

Next is Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin E also protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Establishing Vitamin E requirements is complicated because the body stores both Vitamin E and selenium. A number of studies to establish requirements for both nutrients have underestimated the requirements by failing to account for their augmentation from body stores as well as experimental dietary concentrations. {source} In a PMR diet Vitamin E can be found in:

  • Whole Prey

  • Liver

  • Kidney

  • Brain

  • Eggs

  • Sardines

Read more on Vitamin E here

Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining the health of bones and teeth. It also supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system and can also be found in whole prey, liver, kidney, eggs, sardines, salmon and Atlantic mackerel.

Iodine, a mineral that’s important for proper thyroid function can be found in fish and eggs. According to Dr. Jean Dodds an iodine deficiency is highly unlikely and would need to be diagnosed. Over supplementation by using kelp (as many places suggest) can lead to thyroid issues.

“ …..Diagnosing iodine deficiencies is tricky, though. In fact, iodine deficiency diagnoses are generally left to epidemiologists who infer it by the amount of iodine in the soil where people and pets live, or measure the iodine content of the urine of a population as a whole rather than an individual.”

“...kelp supplementation will only work as intended if the dog has an iodine deficiency, which is highly unlikely. The majority of dogs that become hypothyroid suffer from inherited autoimmune thyroiditis (like Hashimoto’s lymphocytic thyroiditis in people), which has nothing to do with iodine deficiency. Further, excessive iodine supplementation can result in the overproduction of the T4 and T3 in dogs and cats, which triggers unintended cascading effects: in dogs, the immune system may wind up attacking the thyroid gland (producing excessive amounts of thyroglobulin autoantibody) which end up suppressing thyroid levels and causing the very hypothyroidism it was meant to prevent; whereas in cats, the overdosing can result in overt hyperthyroidism” {source}

Manganese is a trace mineral that contributes to many functions in the body. It metabolizes protein and makes fatty acids. Manganese also plays a role in bone formation, blood clotting, and reducing inflammation. Naturally it’s found in whole prey, muscle meat, tripe, and mussels. You’ll see from a lot of places that this mineral lacks the most in the diet. However, according to C L Keen and S Zidenberg-Cherr of the University of California, Davis they state that Manganese absorption rate can vary among different food sources and that although meat may be low, the absorption rate is higher than that of other sources.

"Similarly, while the concentration of manganese in cereal grains is significant, the high content of phytates and fiber constituents may bind manganese, limiting its absorption. Thus, while a calculation of intake based on nutrient composition of foods may show that manganese intake is high, the actual amount of manganese absorbed will vary among food sources. Similarly, although meat products contain low concentrations of manganese, absorption and retention of manganese from them are high, making them good sources of the element in the diet". {source}

Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The essential Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are important for healthy brain and heart function and they also help reduce inflammation. Oily fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel and herring are packed with these important parts of the diet. Green Lipped Mussels are also an excellent source as well as whole prey, and grass fed and finished meats.

At the end of the day a fully balanced PMR diet is all that’s needed to have your pets thriving! A great quote from Dr Conor Brady says it all..

"Next time someone implies you can't balance your own pet's meal, ask them how much calcium their kids need each day, how they supplied it and how much their child absorbed.

​Such details are only really important if your nutrients come from a conical flask. Given enough of the good stuff , the body achieves balance over time. It has to. Nutrients do not present uniformly in nature."


Related articles:

Wolves, Dogs, and PMR

Oils and Omega 3

Omnivore or Carnivore?

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