the potential for enhancement of immunity in cats by dietary supplementation

K.J. Rutherfurd-Markwick, W.H. Hendriks, P.C.H. Morel, D.G. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study was conducted to examine the potential benefits of dietary supplementation on the feline immune system. Forty three cats (8 or 9 per group) were fed a low protein control diet (22.7% DM basis), the same diet supplemented with yeast-derived nucleotides, salmon oil or l-arginine or a commercial moist high protein diet (53.0% DM basis) for a period of five weeks. The low protein diets were formulated using a commercial moist diet base with added fat and starch and fed ad libitum, along with water. Specific immune assays showed that supplementation with arginine caused a significant enhancement of lymphocyte proliferative responses to the T-cell mitogen PHA after 35 days (P = 0.018), while supplementation with either nucleotides or salmon oil resulted in significant enhancement after both 14 (P = 0.0048, P <0.0001 respectively) and 35 days (both P <0.0001). Dietary supplementation with arginine, nucleotides or salmon oil each led to significant increases in blood leucocyte phagocytic activity after both 14 (P = 0.0003, P = 0.0077, P <0.0001 respectively) and 35 days (P <0.0001). This indicates that a number of dietary ingredients have the ability to modulate the immune system of healthy cats possibly resulting in a greater ability to fight infection and disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-340
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • macrophage phagocytic-activity
  • randomized controlled-trial
  • arginine supplementation
  • lymphocyte subsets
  • cell-function
  • nucleotides
  • mice
  • nutrition
  • system
  • acid

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