If you think antioxidants (preservatives) aren’t good for you or your dog, read on.

According to an article in R&D Magazine, Andrew Dannenberg of Cornell Medical College has made an important discovery. He found that antioxidants BHA and BHT boost levels of a natural cancer-fighter. Laboratory animals were used in the tests, but these preservatives seem to have the same effect in humans.

BHA and BHT are antioxidants that are widely used in human and pet food. They “revved up” the gene for an enzyme that helps destroy carcinogens before they trigger tumors. In other words, they caused the gene to produce more of the enzyme which provided better protection against cancer-causing substances in the environment.

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