Decades ago, when 100% vegetable diets were first used in dogs and cats, this concern about the appearance of stones...
100% vegetable food. What about proteins?
Proteins are complex molecules formed by amino acids, these amino acids are bound by peptide bonds, these bonds and the different combinations of amino acids make each protein unique with specific functions.
Proteins perform a large number of functions in our body, they are necessary for the structure, functioning and regulation of our tissues and organs.
There are proteins with very different functions, here we leave the main ones:
-antibodies (for example, immunoglobulins that help protect the body)
-enzymes (carry out chemical reactions and collaborate in the formation of new molecules)
-messengers (such as some hormones, transmit signals to coordinate biological processes between different cells, tissues and organs)
-structural (give structure and support to cells)
-transport and storage (this type of protein binds and helps transport atoms and small molecules within cells and throughout the body).
Foods that contain proteins when digesting are divided into amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids, which can be combined in multiple ways.
In the plant kingdom we find almost all the essential amino acids, and those that do not, like taurine, can be synthesized in the laboratory without any animal having to die for its contribution.
The case of taurine which is of great importance in cats, but interestingly the same product to supplement it containing 100% vegetable feed is the one that has been added to animal feed for decades, because due to thermal treatments to produce the feed this amino acid is destroyed and must be supplemented once the food is produced.
There are different types of amino acids:
Essential: they cannot be produced by the body, they must be contained in food.
Nonessential: they are what the body can produce from essential amino acids.
Proteins of vegetable origin together with amino acids synthesized in laboratories can provide all the amino acids necessary for a proper diet, the key factor is the digestibility of them and this depends on two factors: the origin of those proteins (we must start from ingredients with quality proteins such as legumes and cereals) and the process that is made so that these amino acids are available to be assimilated for the body. A properly processed plant protein is as valuable and digestible as an animal protein.