Tina Jones, M.D.
Certain species may have special requirements not included here. Galen thought that for a person to have gout , kidney stones , or arthritis was scandalous, which Gratzer likens to Samuel Butler's Erehwon where sickness is a crime. This difference in molecular configuration matters for several parts of the conversion process. The role of an intersectoral coordinating committee in implementing national nutrition plans and policies was also considered crucial, although the nature i. Goitre as a determinant of the prevalence and severity of iodine deficiency disorders in populations. All of it has been conducted using rats.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if butter and bacon were “health foods”?
Rabbits have a unique and delicate digestive system and it is important to take this into consideration when planning their meals. A healthy rabbit who is spayed or neutered, gets a proper diet and lives inside the home as a part of the family has a life span of eight to thirteen years. Digestion begins in the mouth. The food is mashed up by the teeth and mixed with saliva, which contains proteins that begin breaking down the food.
When the food is swallowed it enters the stomach where it is mixed with stomach acid and digestive enzymes, which continue the digestion process. It then moves out of the stomach into the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed into the body, and then it continues on into the large intestine where the food particles are sorted by size. The larger particles of indigestible fiber drive the smaller fragments of digestible fiber backwards into the cecum, which is a large blind-ended sac located at the junction of the small and large intestines.
The indigestible particles are then passed out in the fecal pellets regular poop and the cecum begins the fermentation process that will produce what is commonly referred to as night feces or cecotropes, which a rabbit will ingest directly from the anus. You can tell the difference between normal feces and cecotrophes by their soft, shiny clumped texture and often more pungent odor.
These bad bacteria produce toxins that can be harmful or fatal to your rabbit. On the other hand, the products of good cecal fermentation are crucial to healthy gut flora, because through coprophagy, the oral re-ingestion of the cecal pellets produced by this fermentation process, the rabbit can absorb by normal digestion the special nutrients and vitamins contained in the cecal pellets.
Some evidence suggests that bacteria from these re-ingested cecal pellets help the food digest while in the stomach Laura Tessmer, B. When your rabbit is fed an improper diet that is, one that does not contain an adequate amount of [indigestible] fiber or one that is too high in carbohydrates the Gastro-Intestinal GI tract cannot function properly and it begins to shut down, causing various degrees of what is called GI stasis.
GI stasis, if not taken care of immediately, can cause your rabbit to die a very painful death. So what is GI stasis really? When the speed with which material moves through the GIT is altered it can affect how quickly the stomach and cecum empty. The body still needs water to function so it takes it from the stomach and cecum, causing the contents of the entire GI tract food, hair from grooming, etc.
A rabbit in GI stasis will often stop eating, become anorexic and die. When a rabbit dies from GI stasis and its related problems it is most often due to hepatic lipidosis or Fatty Liver Disease, which is caused by the toxins produced by the bad bacteria in the cecum. In most cases, especially those caught early-on by observant owners, GI stasis can be reversed with time, patience and good advice from your rabbit vet.
But our goal is to prevent it from happening at all. Check the feces while cleaning the litter box. If there are no feces for hours contact your vet immediately. Never give babies under six months old hairball remedy without first consulting your rabbit vet. While the use of hairball remedies as preventatives can be helpful, there is some question as to how helpful or harmful it is to administer them to rabbits already in GI stasis.
If the intestinal contents are severely dehydrated and brick-hard yes, we have seen this! For this reason, it is probably wise to concentrate on re-hydrating the intestinal contents before using petroleum-based laxatives, if they are to be used at all Krempels, Dana M.
This, in addition to a proper diet and plenty of fun and exercise, as well as close observation of the litter box and the general behavior and condition of the rabbits goes a long away towards keeping bunny GI tracts healthy and happy.
Vet intervention is always called for when this sort of situation presents itself. Not all vets know and see rabbits, however, so it is important that you locate a good rabbit vet in your area before an emergency arises. If you have a rabbit that is difficult to keep weight on or off, consult your vet. Do not feed your rabbit any of the many commercial pellet mixes that contain seeds, dried fruit or colored cereals.
These commercial treat foods are geared to look pleasing to us humans, but they are definitely not in the best health interests of your pet rabbit. Rabbits are not seed, fruit or cereal eaters by nature and these types of junk foods are high in sugars and carbohydrates, which as we talked about earlier can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
It is his prime source of fiber, which is instrumental in keeping the gut in good working order. A rabbit with tooth problems is a rabbit on his way to having GI problems as well. Fresh timothy, oat and other grass hays should be available to all bunnies all the time.
Alfalfa hay , which is higher in calories as well as calcium which can cause kidney or bladder problems sludge in older rabbits is okay to feed to physically fit bunnies under the age of one, but should be avoided for the average healthy, mature house rabbit.
Some rabbits have higher protein needs older or sick rabbits, angoras, etc. Again, consult your vet with all special dietary questions. We feel that a variety of tastes encourages the bunnies to eat more hay, and the variety of nutrients may be beneficial. Certainly no harm is done! For the whole day. The Precision Nutrition plate suggests about thumb-sized portions of fat-dense foods like nuts, cheese, avocado, olive oil, etc.
The ketogenic meal, on the other hand, is high fat — even up to 90 percent of total energy intake. A ketogenic diet is the most restrictive and limited of all four of these styles of eating. For other people, of course, it may not be helpful… and it may be actively harmful. Put very simply, when the conditions are right for instance, during starvation or fasting, or when our carb intake is very low:.
Stereoisomers are molecules with the same chemical makeup, but different shapes and configurations. Shape and orientation matter to molecules and their actions, just like having right-handed and left-handed gloves or shoes matters. Each stereoisomer uses different enzymes for conversion, much like each lock has its own unique key.
You want to supplement the right stereoisomer, rather than a random pile of ketone types. Usually in test tube chemistry, you get a mix of stereoisomers often around half one type, and half another type , unlike our body, which only uses and makes one version.
Some people like to think of ketone bodies as the fourth energy source for humans in addition to carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Ketosis, which just means having more ketone bodies than normal, should not be confused with ketoacidosis , which is a potentially dangerous metabolic situation of uncontrolled ketosis. If it senses acid levels rising as happens in ketosis , it responds by buffering with more alkaline molecules such as bicarbonate , changing blood levels of CO2, absorbing hydrogen ions, or telling the kidneys to excrete more dihydrogen phosphate and ammonium ions. This usually happens in diabetics and alcoholics, since their normal metabolic mechanisms may not work properly.
For the average healthy person, dietary ketosis or even brief fasting is generally safe. How do we get into ketosis? Ketogenesis We can make our own ketone bodies naturally, through the process of ketogenesis. Our ancestors kicked off ketogenesis the good old fashioned way: Ketosis is essentially an effect of fasting. This means that many of the health effects of fasting may be due to ketosis itself, rather than something like energy restriction. This may have to do with our energy-hungry human brains.
About 20 percent of our overall energy intake is devoted to feeding our brains. And it may be this particular evolutionary adaptation — which perhaps began as a way to keep the thinking factory upstairs working when food was scarce — that also enables the brain-benefiting effects of the ketogenic diet. Stored glucose our sugar-based fuel is actually rather heavy. Our body prefers to store most of our excess energy as body fat. When we eat normally, our brain gets enough energy from glucose that can easily pass the blood-brain barrier.
By the way, the relative heaviness of stored glycogen is why many people report fast weight loss on a ketogenic or low-carb diet: Unfortunately, this water and glycogen comes right back once we start eating normally again. Most people frown on starving children with epilepsy, so a ketogenic diet is the next best thing.
Many people like to measure their ketosis with Ketostix, which test for ketones in the urine. Therefore, you may see different readings on the Ketostix, regardless of what is actually happening in your body. Supplement with ketones If ketones are what we want, why not just take them instead of making our own by fasting or cutting out carbohydrates?
This has a lot of cool possibilities. Check back in 10 years. The buzz is that ketone supplements can make you thin and cure whatever ails you. Actually, research on this topic goes back to the s. All of it has been conducted using rats. Here are the findings. A recent study found that ketone supplementation extended survival in mice with metastatic cancer. For now, almost no studies on ketone supplementation have used human clinical trials.
Will ketosis help me? Ketogenesis and ketosis are easy to study. Trust me, we scientists can barely keep the grad students from contaminating the super-purified water by leaving the lid off the jug, never mind organize an evil cabal of ketosis deniers.
To be fair, the introduction of anti-epileptic drugs in the late s onward did lead to less interest in dietary ketosis as a treatment for epileptic children. In these specific situations, a ketogenic diet or a structured intermittent fasting program done under close medical supervision for a specific objective, may be a useful as part of a multi-pronged treatment program that probably should include other therapeutic tools such as medication or other well-established health procedures.
Could help in some cases, but should be done with a clear purpose and carefully monitored. Ketones may help, in part, because they decrease oxidative stress, boost antioxidants and scavenge free radicals. Oxidation is a natural part of cellular metabolism, but too much oxidation, too fast, without the balance of antioxidants, contributes to many metabolic and other diseases.
If we can slow and regulate oxidation, it may improve our health and longevity. Neurodegeneration and brain injuries We know ketosis for epilepsy is a win — can ketosis help other types of brain illnesses and injuries?
These metabolic and neourodegenerative diseases show common features, such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and inflammation. The presence of ketones also seems to improve outcomes from traumatic brain injury TBI. However, right now, most of these studies have been done on rats.
See above about getting medical supervision from someone other than Dr. We know that caloric restriction CR improves longevity in most organisms studied. We know that intermittent fasting seems to have some of the same benefits, sometimes. For now, any longevity benefits would be mostly speculative.
And your th birthday cake would have to be a block of butter. Could we possibly enable people to tap into their stored body fat more effectively, and require less re-fueling from stuff like sugary energy gels? You increase fat oxidation, spare glycogen, produce less lactate and use less oxygen at submaximal rates.
It seems that combining ketones with carbs, rather than exclusively using one or the other, might offer some benefit. Then they drank the other half of their drink and biked as far as they could in 30 minutes. Supplementing with a combination of carbohydrates and ketones may improve performance in aerobic competitions.
Some intriguing possibilities, particularly for aerobic performance, but to date there very little evidence to improve overall athletic performance. Low-carb advocates in the late s and early s thought maybe they had stumbled on the key to fighting flab: Insulin is mainly a storage hormone: Its job is basically to help nutrients get into cells.
For one thing, it got some of us unhooked from processed sugary and starchy treats, and thinking more about fiber content and healthy fats. Unfortunately, insulin is not the only player.
Nor does insulin act alone. Energy storage is governed largely by our brain , not a single hormone. The other upside to the low-carb approach was that people often ate more protein and more fat. Which means we eat less. Which means we lose fat. Lower the carb intake, and our body will eventually release some water and glycogen.
You may find it easy to eat less when all you can eat is protein and fat. You may start to have fantasies about a threesome: Not only that, you may be getting some serious scurvy and other nutrient deficiencies.
As part of the carb-insulin hypothesis, people thought that maybe metabolism would also increase during ketosis. With this dietary change, insulin went down while fatty acids and ketone bodies went up.
Basal metabolism energy expenditure went up by about kcal per day. The authors concluded that while there was a small increase in metabolism initially, that disappeared over the four weeks while insulin levels were still low. Is protein actually the key factor? The authors of the study think that differences found in other studies comparing high and low-carb diets are because of differences in protein intake rather than carbohydrate intake in those studies.
Protein promotes satiety and takes the most energy to digest and absorb, so differences in weight loss may be net calories absorbed , rather than decreases in insulin or increases in metabolism. Gaining lean mass As you may have read above, insulin is mainly a storage hormone. As in building things. As in getting swole. For the most part, we need insulin — along with other hormones, such as growth hormone and testosterone — to create an anabolic, muscle-building environment. Trying to build muscle while in ketosis is like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time.
However, as with athletic performance, we may discover that there is some benefit to supplementary ketones while building muscle. Build muscle with a more appropriately anabolic diet that includes carbohydrates particularly around training , and supplement with ketones if you want to experiment. After reading this article, you might feel like nutrition is more complex than you thought.
Our next group kicks off shortly. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice. Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article. Swets and Zeitlinger, Old Remedies for Epilepsy: Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal. The use of diet in the treatment of epilepsy.