(NaturalNews) While it's a little noticed pet food ingredient, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate (and its many named variations) is one ingredient to look out for and avoid. This ingredient is commonly found in many dog foods, cat foods, and treats. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the best reputation for being a safe or useful pet food ingredient. Since there are alternatives for pet food makers to use, it makes you wonder why some put our pets at risk.
Menadione Sodium Bisulfate is a synthetic version of vitamin K. You'll see it within the fine print of many pet food ingredient lists. In addition, of course, it's not as simple to find as it should be. Some pet food ingredient lists will say 'menadione', some will say 'sodium bisulfate', and some will mention vitamin K3 in parenthesis -- and these are just a few of the possible variations you have to look for.
This ingredient is added to pet foods and treats as an inexpensive source of vitamin K. In people, deficiencies of vitamin K can lead to blood clotting, particularly in the stomach, and can lead to intestinal complications. An example in reference to pets, veterinarians will administer an injection of K1 (not the synthetic K3) to a pet who has consumed a rat poison which causes internal bleeding. Food sources of natural vitamin K (K1) are green leafy vegetables; which are not on the 'top ten' list of many pets. Pet food ingredients that could provide natural sources of vitamin K are alfalfa and kelp. However, as you probably have figured out, synthetic vitamin K or menadione is a great deal less expensive than the natural sources of alfalfa and kelp.
Knowing that a pet food company would opt for a synthetic ingredient in contrast to a natural ingredient is bad enough, but it goes one step further on the 'bad scale' with Menadione Sodium Bisulfate. This ingredient can be highly toxic in high doses. Hazard information regarding menadione lists "carcinogenic effects" and states "the substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage." (http://www.sciencelab.com/xMSDS-Menadionesodium bisulfite-9924604) More information on menadione sodium bisulfate and pets can be read at (http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page...) .
With the science based information available on this ingredient, there is no sound reason for menadione to be considered as a pet food or pet treat ingredient other than being a big money saver for a pet food company. AAFCO and the FDA have no restrictions to the use of menadione in pet foods, and the pet food can even proudly claim 'Natural' on the label even if it contains this un-natural ingredient. Look at the fine print of your pet's food and treats for menadione; sources of natural vitamin K (alfalfa and kelp) seem to be a far better option.
About the author
Susan Thixton has an international pet people following providing dog and cat lovers a trusted source for pet food and pet food ingredient information. She's been called courageous, perseverant, even "the Caped Crusader for Pets" for her 16 year study of pet food. Susan Thixton is the author of hundreds of pet industry articles and the 2006 released book Truth About Pet Food (currently being updated for a second edition). She developed and publishes the pet product consumer magazine Petsumer Report and is a frequent speaker and radio guest all over the U.S. and Canada with more than 70 appearances in the last 2 years. If you are looking for straight forward pet food information that can have an almost immediate impact on your pet's health - subscribe to the free newsletter, and subscribe to Petsumer Report to see reviews of close to 700 dog and cat foods and treats (adding 40+ each month). Susan Thixton's 'truth' will help you find a safer, healthier dog or cat food that could add years to your pet's life. http://www.TruthAboutPetFood.com