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Captive Rhinos face metabolic disorders despite nutritious food

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Washington: Captive black rhinos in zoos are facing a bizarre situation. The food served to them is good but the rich diet may put them at high risk for two common health problems: inflammation and insulin resistance.

“We are providing good, nutritious, high quality food. We are just learning that providing high quality food in excess can cause problems,” said Pam Dennis, Clinical Assistant Professor of veterinary preventive medicine at the Ohio State University.

Black Rhinos are browsers that eat leaves, branches and parts of trees in the wild. Their zoo diet mainly consists of grass or hay, milled grains and fruits and vegetables.

“We now recognise that obesity in humans leads to increased inflammation and a whole cascade or problems ranging from heart disease to immune dysfunction. This is entering the vocabulary in zoo medicine, that obesity is much more than just a weight issue,” Dennis said.

Across the globe, there are only about 5,000 black rhinos – a drop from an estimated 100,000 in the 1960s.

The study appeared in General and Comparative Endocrinology.

(IANS)

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Prenatal choline may boost babies’ metabolism, brain development

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies.

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Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby
Epilepsy drug in pregnant women may increase oral cleft risk in baby. wikimedia commons

Researchers have found that consuming more foods with choline during pregnancy may boost metabolism and brain development of babies. Although the role of choline in neurodevelopment has been studied before in rodents, the new research was conducted on pigs, which has more relevance to humans.

Austin Mudd, a doctoral student in the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois said,”In pigs from choline-deficient moms, their brains were about 10 percent smaller overall.” And 11 of the 19 regions were significantly smaller in choline-deficient brains, he said. The result was the same in grey and white matter concentration of the piglets.

This may increase baby’s metabolism and brain development. Pixabay

Conversely, piglets whose mothers consumed sufficient choline during pregnancy had higher concentrations of grey and white matter in the brain’s cortical regions. Grey matter is primarily made up of the neurons themselves, while white matter comprises the material that connects neurons and bridges in different parts of the brain.

Also Read: Acupuncture May Boost Chances Of Pregnancy Through IVF

For the study, the team gave pregnant sows choline-deficient or choline-sufficient diets through the second half of their pregnancies. After weaning, piglets were fed choline-deficient or choline-sufficient milk replacer for 30 days. Then the month-old piglets were scanned by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The left and right cortex were found to be larger in the choline-sufficient pigs, as a result of the a greater density of grey matter in the brain. As part of the study, some of the pigs from choline-deficient mothers were also given adequate amounts of choline after birth.

genetic testing
This is wonderful for mothers and babies. Pixabay

The results showed that it is not sufficient for the brain. “Postnatal supplementation cannot correct for prenatal deficiency. It has to occur during development,” explained Ryan Dilger, associate professor at the varsity.

“We know that the structural alteration is there, but it may not manifest in ways we can see until later in life. That’s why it’s important to think about this during gestation because the changes are occurring then,” Mudd noted. The study was published in Current Developments in Nutrition. IANS

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