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Antinutrients By Sean B. Jones

Antinutrients By Sean B. Jones

Nutrients provide nourishment.  Antinutrients are natural or synthetic compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. Antinutrients block the absorption of proteins, vitamins and minerals, and they can degrade the intestinal walls and can lead to intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. Overtime, the high consumption of antinutrients can also lead to critical mineral & nutritional deficiencies.

Consumption of antinutrients are also associated with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome. autoimmune diseases, arthritis, allergies &  cognitive decline.

Is your pet food Or treats heavy in antinutrients? 


Legumes, lentils, potatoes, peas, chickpeas, flaxseed, tomato pomace, tomato, kidney beans, peanuts, grains — wheat, barley and rye.


Humans can tolerate antinutrient food much, much better than dogs and cats - human omnivore digestive physiology is better prepared to deal with antinutrient foods.  Our carnivore Dogs, obligate carnivore cats ARE NOT.  Check out this article on natural food:

A small amount of foods considered antinutrients are probably nothing to be concerned with.  However, foods and treats rich with antinutrient ingredients even if cooked to a high temperature may be a significant concern. 

By Sean B. Jones, MS, MBA

Sean is certified in pet nutrition, canine herbalism & raw feeding and co-owner of What's In The Bowl Pet Shops and Raw Dog Barkery. Sean is a licensed psychotherapist, and a former FBI special agent and healthcare executive. He has two masters degrees and has a passion for educating pet parents about biologically appropriate foods & supplements. Sean is also the executive director of Whats In The Bowl Forum - A Wisconsin 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit Organization: Providing discussion, education and opportunities for pet parents to explore current species appropriate nutrition, wellness, treatment and training options for their pets. Sean lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin with his wife Amy (co-owner of Whats In The Bowl Pet Shops & Raw Dog Barkery) and their three golden retrievers Bonnie, Clyde & Stella.

Here are some common antinutrients found in foods along with scientific studies that support their classification:

1. Phytates: Phytates are found in whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Studies have shown that phytates can bind to minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium, reducing their bioavailability in the body. (source: Journal of Food Science and Technology, 2015)

2. Oxalates: Oxalates are found in leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, as well as in beets, nuts, and tea. Research has shown that oxalates can bind with calcium to form crystals, which can lead to kidney stones and reduce calcium absorption. (source: The Journal of Urology, 2011)

3. Lectins: Lectins are proteins found in legumes, grains, and some vegetables. Studies have suggested that lectins can interfere with nutrient absorption, cause inflammation, and damage the lining of the digestive system. (source: Frontiers in Plant Science, 2018)

4. Tannins: Tannins are found in tea, coffee, and some fruits, such as grapes and berries. Research has shown that tannins can reduce the absorption of iron and other minerals, as well as interfere with the digestion of proteins. (source: Food Science and Human Wellness, 2014)

5. Protease inhibitors: Protease inhibitors are found in soybeans and other legumes. Studies have suggested that protease inhibitors can interfere with the digestion of protein, leading to reduced absorption of amino acids. (source: The Journal of Nutrition, 1991)

It is important to note that the negative effects of antinutrients can be mitigated through proper food preparation methods, such as soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. Additionally, the benefits of consuming nutrient-dense foods that contain antinutrients often outweigh the potential drawbacks.

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