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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-24-2005, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Dangers of cereal

I keep hearing of people feeding cereals to their chins for treats. This is very risky let me tell you why. I raised fancy rats and mice for pets for many yrs. In the begining I used oat o"s and a variety of brand name cereals. Most all ceral contains BHA, BHT, and trisodium phosphates these ingredients caused tumors in my mice and rats in less than 3 weeks. It took me a while to figure out exactly what the problem was but it was most definately the cereal. If you are feeding your chin treats they should only be natural treats or products that have no chemicals in them. Spoon size shredded wheats ingredients are shredded wheat! No salt, no sugar, no chemicals. There is BHA in the wax package but not in the cereal itself. Please read labels. Pet stores have lots of chinnies treats BUT read the label. You will be shocked to read the junk in some of these products. Yogart treats list sugar as the first ingredients. Please pay attention to the food you give your chinnies and they will love you much longer for it.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 08:54 AM
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Thanks for the reminder, Deb!

Our girlies love your oatey treats Otherwise, they're suckers for their wood treats (apple and willow) and their shreddies
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-03-2005, 10:27 AM
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What kind of tumors did you find, and where were they? Skin, digestive system, urinary?

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), is an antioxidant used in many foods. In most studies, as far as I know, low level doses have only been linked to cancerous papillomas of the forestomach and urinary tract. (That's not to say there couldn't be others though..)

In fact, one study from as long ago as 1985 stated:
"These results indicate that BHA should be classified in the category of "sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity" as judged by IARC criteria."
The problem with BHA and other antioxidants (like BHT) is that sometimes they seem to act as "synergestic" carcinogens.

That means that they may not "normally" be considered carcinogens by themselves. But they can act in concert (synergstically) with other compounds to produce cancerous or pre-cancerous growths over time. It may be that for some people the other chemicals needed are provided in other ways ...diet, water, air.

For other situations, they are not present, and the animals can be exposed to even relatively high doses of things like BHA, BHT, etc ...and never develop tumors.

There are even some combinations with BHA and BHT in concert, that seem to INHIBIT the formation of cancer of the colon and liver.

Obviously, I'm not trying to dispute you, but the scientist in me is curious how you were able to determine that it was the cereals and not some other environmental factor...or even a random chance, that was responsible for the tumors you found?

I had a series of pet rats for years, ...and raised feeder mice (for my herps and spiders) for a quite a long time too.

Both groups of which were frequently treated with cereal (cheerios, total, fruit loops, etc,), in addition to produce and rodent chow. I was into sugary, "junk" cereals at the time. ...and I shared. (Not something I'd do now.)

In fact, I used fruit loops as part of the training regimen for my rats. One of my boys lived for two and a half years, and a girl lived for a little over three ...pretty long for a rat! (I did not breed them, if that makes a difference, ...which it could).

I don't recall ever having tumors in any my animals. ...that's why I'm curious how you came to this conclusion.


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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-20-2005, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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I know the ceral was the culprit because as soon as I stopped using it none of my other rodents developed tumors until about a yr later when I introduced them to the ceral again. I've been working with small animals about 12 yrs and always document problems and this was one of them.

BHA + BHT are chemicals and Just the word chemicals makes me question it!

Here is another opinion below.

Q: Some friends say I should avoid foods that contain the additives BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), while others say I should take supplements that contain them because they might prevent cancer. Who's right?

A: Both BHT and BHA are antioxidants, which means that they can be used to keep various things such as food from being degraded by oxygen. They delay or retard or prevent the development in food of rancidity or other flavour deterioration due to oxidant. BHA especially is heat-resistant, thus it is commonly used in baked products.

Some people are sensitive to the presence of BHA and BHT in foods. They are known to precipitate allergic reactions. Some people who are sensitive to BHT may develop rashes.

Both BHA and BHT have been associated with the development of metabolising enzymes in liver which lead to an increased risk of breaking down of important substances in the body such as vitamins D. Various reports have also linked this additive with possible reproductive failures, behavioural and blood cell changes.

Although there is a lot of research supporting the theory that free radicals resulting from cell oxidation are related to some cancerous effects, their role as anticancer agent remains controversial. In some studies, there are claims that these additives have been shown to prevent cancer in animals. However, there is evidence to indicate that BHA and BHT can also cause tumours in laboratory animals.

Although several tests of chronic toxicity of a small amount of BHA and BHT have not revealed any serious adverse effects, it is probably not advisable to take it a food supplement.

Source: The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad
March 11, 1996
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