Why hasn’t AAFCO addressed the toxicity of menadione? Why is industry still telling pet food consumers Menadione is safe? One little paragraph from Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University should be read by AAFCO, FDA and all pet food manufacturers that use this toxic ingredient.
Quoting the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University description of Vitamin K…
“Although allergic reaction is possible, there is no known toxicity associated with high doses of the phylloquinone (vitamin K1) or menaquinone (vitamin K2) forms of vitamin K (20). The same is not true for synthetic menadione (vitamin K3) and its derivatives. Menadione can interfere with the function of glutathione, one of the body’s natural antioxidants, resulting in oxidative damage to cell membranes. Menadione given by injection has induced liver toxicity, jaundice, and hemolytic anemia (due to the rupture of red blood cells) in infants; therefore, menadione is no longer used for treatment of vitamin K deficiency.”
The Material Safety Data sheet on Menadione-sodium bisulfite states: “The substance is toxic
to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”
To make matters worse, AAFCO regulations require the synthetic Menadione to be used in cat foods containing more than 25% fish (dry matter). It would not matter if the cat food has sufficient vitamin K sourced from food (spinach, olive oil)…regulations require the addition of Menadione to cat foods containing high levels of fish. As well, as far as a supplement in pet foods – Menadione is the ONLY approved supplement for vitamin K per AAFCO. Vitamin K can be sourced from food, but if a supplement is added, only K3 menadione is allowed in all pet foods. A vitamin K made from food (such as a vitamin supplement sourced from spinach), would not be allowed.
Pet food industry consultant Dr. Greg Aldrich disagrees that Menadione is risk. “While small amounts of vitamin K are required in the diet and might be provided by whole ingredients or healthy gut fermentation, the uncertainty of these sources leads many petfood companies to supplement with commercial vitamin K3 (menadione). Judicious use of nutritional vitamin K3 is clearly not toxic, so this notion that vitamin K3 as an ingredient in petfoods should not be used is unfounded and should be reversed. Further, it is hoped that through education and communication, consumers can be made aware that not all that is printed on enthusiasts’ websites is correct.”
I disagree Dr. Aldrich. Information is available to the toxic effects on humans (per material safety data sheet and research quoted by Linus Pauling Institute); more than likely this information was initially researched on animals. Regardless to your statement the ingredient has been used in pet foods for 50 years, there’s a reason menadione is considered toxic for humans…I have to assume this toxicity was discovered through test animals. There’s more to the story of menadione you are not telling us. (Darn those pet food enthusiasts websites.)
Personally, my pets will not be consuming any synthetic vitamin K. Go natural vitamin K!
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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