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Beynen AC, 2018. Beet pulp in dog food

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Abstract

Beet pulp in dog food In many cases, beet pulp is listed by the ingredient panels on packaged dry dog foods. The ingredient refers to the dried residue of sliced sugar beets after the sugar constituent has been removed. Beet pulp as ingredient is not always highlighted, but a significant number of dog foods predicates that it supports gut health. Beet-pulp fiber allegedly promotes digestion of nutrients, intestinal motility, firm stools and good bacteria in the large intestine. Sugar-beet pulp contains about 50% non-fermentable and 20% fermentable fibers. All of these fibers are resistant to the dog's digestive enzymes, but the fermentable ones are broken down by the bacteria in the lower intestinal tract. Dry dog food with added beet pulp typically includes less than 5%. The non-fermentable fibers in beet pulp end up in stool, together with bacterial products of the fermentable fibers. Research data indicate that beet pulp in dry dog food impairs digestion. An average inclusion rate of 3.1% beet pulp raised daily feces output by 14% (Note 1). Stool bulk was increased due to higher contents of both water and solids. The extra solid matter in the large intestine holds water and so moistens stool. Dietary beet pulp accelerated the flow of alimentary tract contents toward the anus and increased the frequency of defecation. Feces consistency was not perceivably changed. Beet pulp did not clearly affect the good bacteria in the dog's gut. Switching from a commercial dry dog food without beet pulp to a food with beet pulp is associated with multiple diet composition changes. Therefore, the impact on feces volume and appearance is unpredictable. However, studies in dogs suggest that the changeover to a diet rich in beet pulp increases rather than decreases stool volume. This could be considered disadvantageous to many dog owners.
Creature Companion 2018; May: 34, 36.
Anton C. Beynen
Beet pulp in dog food
In many cases, beet pulp is listed by the ingredient panels on packaged dry dog foods. The
ingredient refers to the dried residue of sliced sugar beets after the sugar constituent has been
removed. Beet pulp as ingredient is not always highlighted, but a significant number of dog foods
predicates that it supports gut health. Beet-pulp fiber allegedly promotes digestion of nutrients,
intestinal motility, firm stools and good bacteria in the large intestine.
Sugar-beet pulp contains about 50% non-fermentable and 20% fermentable fibers. All of these
fibers are resistant to the dogs digestive enzymes, but the fermentable ones are broken down by
the bacteria in the lower intestinal tract. Dry dog food with added beet pulp typically includes less
than 5%. The non-fermentable fibers in beet pulp end up in stool, together with bacterial products
of the fermentable fibers.
Research data indicate that beet pulp in dry dog food impairs digestion. An average inclusion rate
of 3.1% beet pulp raised daily feces output by 14% (Note 1). Stool bulk was increased due to higher
contents of both water and solids. The extra solid matter in the large intestine holds water and so
moistens stool. Dietary beet pulp accelerated the flow of alimentary tract contents toward the
anus and increased the frequency of defecation. Feces consistency was not perceivably changed.
Beet pulp did not clearly affect the good bacteria in the dogs gut.
Switching from a commercial dry dog food without beet pulp to a food with beet pulp is associated
with multiple diet composition changes. Therefore, the impact on feces volume and appearance is
unpredictable. However, studies in dogs suggest that the changeover to a diet rich in beet pulp
increases rather than decreases stool volume. This could be considered disadvantageous to many
dog owners.
Beet pulp
Dried sugar-beet pulp has variable contents of sugar and molasses, but roughly comprises 50%
insoluble and 20% soluble fiber compounds (1). The beet pulp used in a dog feeding trial contained
31% hemicelluloses, 25% cellulose and 16% viscous polysaccharides (2). The latter mainly represents
pectin (3). Beet pulp contains about 10% crude protein (1).
The apparent total-tract digestibility of beet pulp in dogs was measured by the difference method
with a canned (4) or extruded (5) food as dietary base. Mean fecal digestibilities of organic matter
and crude protein were 44 and 49%. When using dog feces as microbiota source, beet pulp appears
moderately fermentable (6-10).
Macronutrient digestibility
Beet pulp is poorly digestible and its fibers may interfere with the effectiveness of digestive
enzymes. The net effect of beet pulp inclusion on whole food digestibility depends on the amount
added and the nature of the exchange ingredient(s).
Replacing gelatinized corn starch or brewers rice by beet pulp reduced apparent ileal digestibility of
dry matter, crude protein and fat by 9.6, 5.5 and 2.4% units (11-14, Note 2). The undigested proteins
and carbohydrates, and the pectin from beet pulp, all feed the colonic bacteria. This enhances
bacterial protein excretion (15), which lowers apparent protein digestibility.
Eighteen publications describe the impact of dietary beet pulp on the net efficiency of macronutrient
digestion in dogs (2, 6, 11-25, 27). On the whole, beet pulp had a dose-dependent lowering effect (2,
27). The influence of the exchange ingredient(s) (Note 3) cannot be assessed. At an average inclusion
level of 6.9% in dry food, beet pulp lowered overall apparent fecal digestibility of crude protein and
crude fat by 1.8 and 0.9% units.
Feces characteristics
Taken all data (2, 6, 11-14, 16-20, 22-26) together, 7.0% beet pulp in dry food increased fecal wet
weight by 77%, dry matter excretion by 29%, fecal moisture fraction by 8% units and lowered fecal
dry matter digestibility by 2.0% units (Note 4). There were no perceivable changes in feces
appearance (6, 12-14, 20, 22, 23).
Beet pulps low digestibility and its depressive effect on macronutrient digestion raise dry matter
excretion. The more concentrated colonic luminal content triggers osmotically induced fluid
secretion, thus bringing about greater fecal water loss. Compensation seems to occur through more
water drunk (19), while leaving urinary water excretion unchanged (25).
Gut function
Diets containing beet pulp reduced the mean gastrointestinal retention time of chromium-
mordanted fiber from 25 to 21 hours (2, 6, 17, 18). Faster intestinal transit may lessen dry matter
digestibility. Dogs fed beet pulp needed to defecate more frequently: 3.0 times/day instead of 2.4.
Beet pulp feeding raised the concentrations of fecal short-chain fatty acids (11, 14, 22, 23) and lactic
acid (22, 23), which lowered fecal pH (14, 22, 24, 25). The prevalence of intestinal lactic acid
bacteria, which are regarded as beneficial for canine health, was variably influenced by consumption
of beet pulp. The number of lactobacilli in the distal colon was unaffected (15). Both fecal lactobacilli
and bifidobacteria were diminished (22) or strengthened (14, 22). Beet pulp also increased
lactobacilli without affecting bifidobacteria (23). Probably, the exchange ingredients were co-
defining.
One dog study (28-30) showed that intake of beet pulp in place of cellulose increased the colonic
surface-to-volume ratio and improved the histopathological picture, but reproducibility is unknown.
Closing remarks
Beet pulp lowers macronutrient digestion and expands stool bulk. Other indicators of canine gut
function are not convincingly improved. Prevention of intestinal disorders has gone unaddressed
until now.
Note 1
The beet-pulp effect (at < 5% in dry food) on fecal wet weight is based on references 2, 14, 22 and
25.
Note 2
Apparent ileal digestibilities of dry matter,
protein and fat (% of intake)
Ref
BP,
%
DMD,
%
CPD,
%
CFD,
%
11
0
76.6
73.4
95.0
7.5
67.8
70.9
93.2
12
0
76.6
71.1
94.5
7.5
70.9
68.5
91.6
13
0
79.3
74.4
95.6
7.5
65.8
66.3
93.2
14
0
78.0
74.0
95.9
2.5
67.5
65.0
93.6
Control
77.6
73.2
95.3
Beet pulp
68.0
67.7
92.9
Ref = reference, BP, % = % of beet pulp in dry food, DMD, % = apparent dry matter digestibility (% of
intake), CPD, % = apparent crude protein digestibility (% of intake), CFD, % = apparent crude fat
digestibility (% of intake).
Note 3
Control ingredient(s) that were replaced isogravically by beet pulp in dog feeding trials
Ref
Ref
Control ingredient(s)
2
18
corn starch
4
19
basal ingredient mixture
6
20
native corn fiber
11
21
cellulose + corn starch + purified protein
12
22
lignocellulose /lignocellulose + rice flour
13
23
sugarcane fiber + corn
14
24
grain mixture
15
25
glucose + casein
16
26
corn starch
17
27
unknown
Note 4
Overview of outcomes of beet-pulp effects in dog feeding trials
Ref
Days
n
BP,
%
FW,
g/d
FD,
g/d
FM,
%
DMD,
%
CPD,
%
CFD,
%
Carb
D, %
FS
2
21
5
0
117
45
62
90.4
91.6
96.6
,,
,,
2.5
154
50
67
89.4
91.6
95.5
,,
,,
5
219
59
73
87.4
89.5
95.6
,,
,,
7.5
252
65
74
86.2
88.8
95.4
,,
,,
10
327
75
77
84.1
86.0
94.3
,,
,,
12.5
374
76
80
84.3
88.5
93.7
4
14
6
0
79
80
85
,,
,,
50*
55
72
50
6
17
5
0
124
58
53
83.8
89.8
96.1
2.4
,,
,,
12.5
231
57
75
82.2
83.6
94.1
2.8
11
11
5
0
85.3
85.1
95.1
,,
,,
7.5
81.5
83.9
94.3
12
10
5
0
97
39
60
87.8
85.8
95.9
3.5
,,
,,
7.5
155
64
59
82.2
81.8
94.8
3.0
13
11
6
0
126
47
63
78.5
75.5
94.0
3.0
,,
,,
7.5
180
53
70
75.0
75.4
92.7
3.1
14
14
6
0
73
86.2
86.9
97.2
2.9
,,
,,
2.5
90
85.4
87.0
96.6
2.7
15
35
7
0
87.1
,,
,,
6
85.7
16
10
12
0
77.7
73.2
,,
,,
6
74.8
74.9
,,
,,
12
71.6
73.1
17
21
5
0
126
51
60
87.6
85.1
95.2
,,
,,
7.5
270
82
70
81.6
82.7
93.3
18
21
6
0
113
39
65
89.2
89.7
97.1
,,
,,
7.5
232
63
73
85.8
87.4
97.0
19
28
8
0
66
23
66
88.8
90.9
95.9
92.3
,,
,,
7
128
32
75
85.3
88.2
95.8
89.9
20
12
6
0
108
42
61
82.3
82.3
94.3
3.1
,,
,,
7
141
45
66
78.4
81.2
93.8
3.0
21
84
6
0
88.8
,,
,,
4.7
81.9
22
56
8
0
98
41
58
85.7
97.7
2.3
,,
,,
2.7
76
30
61
87.9
97.5
2.3
,,
,,
12
167
50
70
82.5
97.6
2.1
23
15
6
0
125
57
53
69.6
79.4
89.7
4.2
,,
,,
10.4
167
54
68
73.7
78.3
87.9
3.9
24
21
6
5
117
39
66
79.9
77.2
92.1
89.9
,,
,,
10
134
42
69
79.2
77.4
93.7
88.5
25
21
6
0
58
20
65
92.4
,,
,,
4.7*
75
24
69
90.7
26
56
10
0
122
32
74
,,
,,
10*
193
48
75
27
14
10
0
86.4
87.2
94.0
91.8
,,
,,
1.5
85.7
85.7
94.1
91.8
,,
,,
3
85.0
86.4
93.9
89.1
,,
,,
4.5
85.0
86.0
93.7
89.4
^Overall means, excluding Ref 4. Ref = reference. Days = duration of feeding, including feces
collection period. n = dogs per dietary treatment. BP, % = % of beet pulp in dry food; for moist food*
expressed on 90% dry-matter basis; FW, g/d = fecal wet weight, g/d per dog. FD, g/d = fecal dry
weight, g/d per dog. FM, % = % of moisture in feces. DMD, % = apparent fecal dry matter digestibility
as % of intake. CPD, % = apparent fecal crude protein digestibility (% of intake). CFD, % = apparent
fecal crude fat digestibility (% of intake). CarbD = apparent fecal carbohydrate (nitrogen-free extract)
digestibility (% of intake). FS = fecal score on a 1-5 scale (1 = hard, dry and crumbly stools; 5 = watery
diarrhea).
Note 5
Miscellaneous observations
- Beet pulp feeding did not affect clostridial organisms in the distal colon (15) or feces (14, 22, 23),
but raised the fecal concentration at higher dietary inclusion rate (22).
- Dietary beet pulp did not influence postprandial glycemia in dogs (19, 26).
- Beet pulp markedly raised fecal putrescine concentrations in one study (14), but had no effect in
another (23).
- Beet pulp in the diet of dogs increased fecal excretion of bile acids and reduced serum taurine
concentrations (21).
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,,
,,
6
83.9
85.4
93.4
86.5
Control^
0
104
41
62
84.1
85.7
95.3
92.1
3.1
Beet pulp^
7.5
184
53
70
82.1
83.9
94.4
89.3
2.9
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... In dogs, higher dietary levels (≥ 5% in dry food) of cellulose (26,27), beet pulp (28,29) or psyllium seed (30,31) accelerate chyme passage and increase both feces volume and defecation frequency. The studies also showed that cellulose lowers water content of feces to a limited degree, whereas beet pulp and psyllium seed have a clear increasing effect. ...
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