Cell death isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, natural cell suicide, a type of genetically programmed cell death known as apoptosis, can be a very good thing. Old cells die by apoptosis every day, to make room for healthy new cells.
This natural cell suicide is also turned on when a cell becomes deranged or damaged. Conversely, if apoptosis genes don’t turn on when they should, health suffers.
“The lack of normal apoptosis is a hallmark of all cancers, no matter where they occur in the body,” says Dr. Demian Dressler, veterinarian and author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. One in three dogs — and one in two over the age of ten — develop cancer, with its lack of normal apoptosis.
Scientists have known about apoptosis for over a century. But a deeper understanding of its significance surged in 2002, when the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Sydney Brenner, H. Robert Horvitz and John E. Sulston “for their discoveries concerning genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death.” Ever since, pharmaceutical companies have been spending billions developing synthetic pharmaceutical apoptogens.
Yet Mother Nature has already invented apoptogens, in the form of plant-based bioflavonoids such as luteolin, curcumin and apigenin. These tiny molecules, when extracted from foods and carefully formulated, naturally wake up the apoptosis genes in old, damaged, or deranged cells. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is now the blueprint for over 40 different synthetic anti-cancer drugs. Apigenin is found in parsley, while luteolin is found in plants like celery, green peppers, artichokes, and peanut hulls. Dr. Dressler, the chief medical officer at Functional Nutriments, is the maker of the world’s first apoptogen supplement for dogs, Apocaps CX.
Supplementation is not just for cases of apoptosis deficiency. Supplementing healthy dogs with smaller maintenance doses of apoptogens on a daily basis is very beneficial. Functional Nutriments includes select apoptogens in their daily dog supplement, EverPup. It also includes Omega-3s, glucosamine, probiotics, prebiotics, and a range of vitamins and minerals – and incorporates a special technology called Biovadex to slip the apoptogens through the body’s defenses into the bloodstream, so they can reach the cells.
A quick glance at the label might lead you to believe EverPup is “missing” some ingredients we’ve come to expect. For example, with the inclusion of glucosamine, EverPup offers full joint support – but the hyaluronic acid we’re used to seeing is not a separate ingredient. Instead, it’s created by the synergy of certain apoptogens.
“It turns out that Mother Nature has already invented the wheel,” Dr. Dressler says. “We’ve got caught up over the last few years in thinking more supplements are better, but the reality is we only need a few, carefully balanced and working together. Now we can avoid over-dosing, and still get more benefits than we would if we were giving six or more separate supplements.”