USF COPH: Animal Nutrition 101

USF COPH: Animal Nutrition 101

September 15, 2019 0 By Ewald Bahringer


Again, thanks for
coming to Lowry Park. This is the first of
our lecture series for the next academic year. The first talk
today is nutrition, and we’re going to follow up
with air quality and water quality. This is our first endeavor
into this joint cooperation, if you will. And it all kind of
stems from our program with the McCann Foundation. The McCann Foundation has been
a big benefactor to the zoo, actually, for years and years. Formerly, we have the
veterinary fellowship, the clinical fellowship. We had our first
fellow, this is Ashley. She did all the manatee
coagulation research. Melissa is our current
fellow, Melissa, please — thank you. And the first
fellowship was actually through the
University of Florida, the College of
Veterinary Medicine. We decided, amongst the zoo
and actually the foundation, that we really wanted to make
this a little bit more local. And we wanted to change the
focus of the clinical training and the academic
training for this fellow. And we thought that combining
the clinical training experience that this person
would give at the zoo would pair up very nicely
with the opportunities that USF College of
Public health offers. And so to that
end, the fellowship now consists of a couple
of graduate certificates with the strong
possibility that a Master’s could follow after that. But that’s– Melissa, and you
guys can sort that out later. So to introduce our first
speaker of the series, Dr. Kathleen O’Rourke. Many of you who are
here from public health know this is my favorite
part of my entire job. And I always tell Ray that
we always meet in his office, for some reason, as
opposed to coming over to mine because I just
don’t quite have that view. We’re really
excited about really thinking about animal health as
a population, sort of health. And that isn’t always done well. Just as when we started
with medicine and nursing it was more of a
focus on individual and what public health
does is population health. And so putting the two
together was really a neat fit. And we are really
excited about it. One of the things
we want to do is sort of strengthen this
collaborative feeling by doing things between the two areas. Even though I always want
to come here on meeting days Ray was going to
let me come over. And he did a Dean’s
lecture– when was that, three years
ago, now was it even? It was quite a few years ago. I didn’t think it was that
long, but maybe it is. It was so well received. I had so many
people came up to me after that lecture so
excited about the issues that Ray was describing
he had with animals that people were studying
along, you know, people. We thought, wow, there’s much
more overlap than we’d really thought to appreciate. So that’s how we
moved onto this. And then we were very
fortunate to get the funding from the McCann Foundation to
allow us to support a fellow. And also a program starting. And, what we want to do as part
of that were a series of three lectures. And Lori, I am so
grateful for Lori, right? Who was with us, and she
moved on to another position. And still was going to come
down from Jacksonville today to give this lecture for us. I’ve been to a number
of her guest lectures, because we were just
laughing, when she first came to the college,
we all wanted her, every day, all the time. So she’s just amazing. She came to us from a
different background, because she had her
bachelor’s in Dietetic from Ohio State University. And then she combined
that dietetic internship from Case Western University
in Cleveland, VA hospitals, so that’s an
interesting combination. And she has a PhD from USF. So that’s where she came from. The background, she’s been
a clinical dietitian and PA for 16 years, and you were
originally in the St. Pete campus and then came up to us– –Tampa, and then USF. So we got her up from there,
which was really exciting. But this semester, to
our dismay, at least my personal dismay,
but she got a position with the University
of North Florida, and this is a
wonderful position, directing the second doctorate
in clinical nutrition in the nation. This is really important. And so, really, we
couldn’t fault you for taking that opportunity. Her research areas there
have been in food insecurity and global nutrition. She’s an Academy media
spokesperson, an Assence site visitor, and former
BOD director. I’m not quite sure
what all that is. Past President of
the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,
current public policy team leader. So we’ve trained her a
little in public health and what that means,
and she has trained us an awful lot in nutrition. And so thank you
so much for coming, and she’ll provide this lecture,
which I’m looking forward to. Thank you. Can everyone hear me okay? Good. I prefer not to use the
microphone So as I said, when we, when Kathleen asked
me to talk about nutrition, I thought at first,
oh, nutrition, sure. No problem. I love to talk about nutrition. But then as I was
preparing the talk, I really like to tailor it
to the audience specifically. And there is a wide variety
in our audience today. But I have worked,
been involved with, Dr. Eduardo Valdez at
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And the juncture between human
nutrition and animal nutrition is becoming more and more
apparent all the time. Many of the diseases
that you as keepers are seeing in your animals
today are what we– this whole wave of obesity
and chronic diseases that we’ve been experiencing
and treating in humans. So that’s why, on some cases,
Eduardo and I have consulted, and he’s done a lot of training
with some of my students. So I will try to keep this as
relevant as possible to you all, but I am going to take you
back to some basic principals and begin, of course,
with what is nutrition? This is a very long definition. But nutrition if
the science of food. The nutrients and
other substances within food, and their
action, interaction, all in relationship
to health and disease. So although it’s very long,
there some of the things are very important about this. And one is it’s about food. Because we think sometimes
very clinically about, Oh, they need this about of
protein and this amount of fat. But it is all packaged in food. And food has the,
nutrients the chemicals that nourish the body, but
they have other things, too. And sometimes those other
things can be very helpful when we talk about
fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a
lot of vitamins and minerals. But they also have
these other substances. They are not nutrients, but
things like phytochemicals that are very helpful. They actually help us
protect us against cancer. So if we’re just
thinking nutrients, sometimes we lose out on those
other substances, the benefits of other substances
likewise, or flip side, there are other things in
food that aren’t so helpful. But when we eat
in terms of food, and we’re thinking not
only of the nutrients, but the other substances, too. And so this is all about
how we take it in, utilize the nutrients, and how
we balance this out to prevent disease
and treat disease. So why is nutrition important? Why do they feel that this was
an important topic to cover? Well, it really
has a large effect not only on physical health, and
very often on cognitive health, too. When an animal–
when a baby is born, they’re still a
work in progress, whether it became a mammal,
we’re still a work in progress. Things are still developing,
especially in the brain. And without proper
nutrition, that can be stunted or
otherwise lost. Nutrition is important
to breeding, the ability to have, to reproduce,
very much their behavior. I mean, I love that
commercial about being hangry. I bet you animals
get hangry, too. I’m sure the keepers can
give some examples of that. The development of disease
and the treatment of disease, and the overall
lifespan and mortality. And in the zoo game, I think
that lifespan and morbidity are very important. Because the cost of these
animals must be incredible. So there are a
lot of challenges. It isn’t like feeding our dogs
and cats that we have a lot of research on . There’s a lot of challenges that
come with feeding wild animals. And the translations
are not as simple. We don’t have as much
information about the diets of wild animals. We have a lot of
limitations or we don’t have any studies on what
are the actual nutrient needs? We can kind of extrapolate,
but they aren’t pure studies on those specific animals. Wild versus captive
animals, there’s a lot of differences in their
physical activity patterns. And they have, just when you
think you’ve got it down, then there are some changes
in their nutrient requirements depending on their growth
or health status and such. These are just the guidelines,
the overall guidelines from ACA. Aide and provide a
nutritional, balanced diet. Provide a diet that is
reasonably– stimulates natural feeding behaviors. Provides a nutritionally
balanced diet, and provide a diet that
meets all the above criteria in a practical and
economic way to feed. And I know that that’s
a big issue, too. One thing I do like that,
some parallels that I draw, when between animals
and children. When we talk about a
toddler, an infant, and we’re talking about
introducing solid foods, we talk a lot about
the nutrients. But we also talk
about other issues. It’s not just the
feeding process, isn’t just about the
nutrients, and making sure we’re getting enough nutrients. That when an infant
starts grasping, say those Cheerios, that
you throw out for them, they’re grasping and
pulling them to their mouth. That’s actually
developing their brains. It’s method of stimulating
cognitive development. And with animals, I
think it’s so important to think about the
experience, too, that, you know, as much of the
natural feeding, the instincts, that we can provide
to them in captivity and really looking at it
more holistically than just, what are the nutrients that
we’re going to get into them? So there’s five general
factors that I’m going to talk about when
you’re looking at developing a diet for the animals. Number one, what we’re going
to put most emphasis on, because that’s my comfort
zone, is the nutritional requirements. We’re also going to
talk about feeding type and the digestive
track, their access to food, their health status, and
the actual management of the animals. So this is Nutrition 101. As I said, we don’t
have as much information about specific nutrient
needs for specific species, so sometimes we have to
select a similar species and try to apply
it to that species. We need to consider the
macronutrients, which we’re going to talk about, the micro
nutrients and their energy requirements. And other things
that go into this is beyond the nutrient needs. They’re going to change based
on the seasonality, when it’s hotter, they’re going to burn
a little bit more calories, or more energy, their
place in the life cycle, and of course their
physical activity. So I had said this, that
within that food stuff, the chemicals that actually
nourish the body are called nutrients. And we have six
classes of nutrients. I always give the example with
food and nutrients, or I ask, are food and nutrients
the same thing? And sometimes people go, yes. And then, people like,
they take their cues, like well, she wouldn’t
be asking that if it was the same thing, right? So you can think of
some foods that you eat that really don’t have
any nutrients in them, or very nutrients in them. Like, a soda. Maybe Captain Crunch,
or something like that. So there are food
stuff that don’t contain a lot of nutrients. And then there’s some food
that’s dense with nutrients. So it’s those chemicals that
actually nourish the body that we’re focusing on. And it’s carbohydrates,
proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. I’m going to take you
through them, briefly. Carbohydrates are–
there are when we look at the
other nutrients, we can have long lists of functions
for the various nutrients. But with carbohydrates, the
one function that carbohydrates are designed for is energy. That is the fuel that
the body is made for. We have other, because the
body is an amazing thing, it has different fuel
systems, but the fuel system that it’s designed to
use, predominantly, is carbohydrates. So if you think about
your car, and say you have one of
those expensive cars, that you’re supposed to
use the high octane gas, and if you don’t
have, let’s say, you don’t have a lot
of money to spend, so you use the low octane. Your car’s still
going to run, right? But what’s going
to happen is you get a lot of nicks and pings. And it isn’t over the long
run, not going to run as well. Well, that’s the
way bodies are too. They’re designed to
use carbohydrates. They can, in a pinch use
fats, they can use proteins, but they come with
pings or problems if you use them prolonged. Your body is designed to use,
or animals bodies’ are designed to use carbohydrates. When we talk about
carbohydrates, we classify them by complexity. There’s three levels
of complexity, and there’s three
types under each level. So we have the monosaccharides,
mono, one, sugar. So these are three
single sugars. And those single sugars
are glucose, fructose, and galactose. So you’ve all heard of
glucose, you go and get your blood test drawn,
or you’re looking at the labs on the animals. And glucose is the primary
energy that the cells use. Fructose and galactose
are converted to glucose for the
cells to use for energy. The second level
of carbohydrates are the disaccharides. Those are two sugars
linked together. And there are three of them. There’s sucrose,
lactose, and maltose. Sucrose is table sugar. And that’s a glucose and a
fructose linked together. The body breaks that
down when you consume it, and we utilize the
glucose for energy. Lactose is galactose and
glucose linked together that’s milk sugar. And then maltose is just
two glucose molecules linked together. There’s not a lot of pure
forms of maltose except beer. If you’re a beer brewer,
that’s a big one. And the third level
of complexity, is the polysaccharides,
poly, many, and these are literally,
hundreds of glucose molecules linked together. And there are three
types of polysaccharides. There’s starch. Starch is hundreds of glucose
molecules linked together. It’s found in plants. So you know, your
vegetables, your grains. Those are– that’s
more of a starch. Glycogin is hundreds of glucose
molecules linked together, but it’s found in
animals, and it actually is one of our– it’s our short
term energy storage system. So it’s found in our
liver, and our muscles, and it’s quick energy that we
need in like a fight or flight situation. And the third
polysaccharide is fiber. It’s hundreds of glucose
molecules linked together, found in plants, so
what’s the difference? We don’t digest it. And that carries its
own health benefits. So often we hear the term
though, simple versus complex. Many of you have never heard
of that polysaccharide stuff before, never want
to hear it again, but you’ve heard of
simple and complex. So simple are usually the
mono- and disaccharides. It’s usually things
like sodas candies, these are the quick sugars. And going back to its
original function, energy, these simple carbohydrates
deliver their energy very quickly. It’s 20-30 minutes. The analogy I always
give is when a kid gets into Halloween candy. They’re like, running
around full of energy, and then you come back
half an hour later, what are they doing? They’re crashed. So that’s quick energy. Usually the simple
carbohydrates are not packaged with many
other nutrients. It’s just the sugar,
and that’s it. The complex carbohydrates
are more the polysaccharides. Their energy is released
over three to four hours. It’s a nice plateau of energy. Go up slowly, plateau,
and go down slowly. Found in things like whole
grains, starchy vegetables, they also contain,
besides energy, they also contain other vitamins
and minerals and fiber. We have the gray zone,
the middle ground, which is like milk sugar. It’s a disaccharide. Its energy doesn’t last as long
as the complex carbohydrates, but it is packaged
with other nutrients, like calcium and protein. So they’re kind of in
the middle of the road. We like them better
than the simples. OK. Second class of
nutrients is proteins. And proteins, the
building block of proteins are the amino acids. There are some 20 amino acids. Every amino acid has an
acid group, a base group, and then they have a side
chain that makes it unique. And we classify the amino
acids based on whether or not they are essential,
or non-essential. And essential
means that the body can’t make it, that we have to
get it from some outside food source. And essentially
varies by species. Even by life span, human infants
have more essential amino acids than an adult. In
times of illness, some amino acids become
essential, like glutamine, in humans, but just an example,
cats, taurine is essential, and dogs, it isn’t. They can make it. What does protein do? A whole long list. And you can actually look
at the chemical structure of an amino acid and see how,
why a protein can do this. It’s involved in water,
and electrolyte balance, so it helps move water
in and out of the cells. It’s involved in acid base
balance, well when you have an acid in a base
inside the amino acid, if that balance
gets off, amino acid can contribute a base if we’re
too acidic and vice versa. What everybody thinks
of with protein, though, is building
and repairing tissue. We can use it for energy. We don’t want to
use if for energy, because look at all those
other important functions. We don’t want to use protein. We want to spare protein. But we can’t. Secretions, it transports,
different molecules. It transports
medicines that we give. And then it’s very important
in the immune system. I’ll give you
another human example of a protein deficiency. So you know those commercials
you see with a child, they’re a starving
child in Africa, and you see a child that has
a very sort distorted belly. Is that a fat belly? What is that belly? Go back to one. That’s malnutrition,
but what’s in there? Fluids. It’s fluid. So we don’t have
enough protein to keep the fluids int their
proper compartments, so that’s a belly full of water. You’ll also see
the child probably has very thin hair or no
hair at all, because they can’t grow the hair. The body’s going to put
other priorities first than growing hair. You’ll see discoloration
in their hair all because of a protein deficiency. They’re immune system, they’re
very vulnerable to infections diseases, diarrhea. So that all goes back to
the function of protein, very important. When we talk about proteins,
we talk about quality proteins. And I feel like from
the human standpoint, I get so many questions
about protein, because it’s all the rage now. Every cereal, English
muffin is high-protein. And protein is critical, but
the quality of these proteins is very, very important. When we talk about
quality, there’s many different ways
we ca grade quality. But probably the
simplest way to think about it is complete
or incomplete proteins. Complete proteins contain
all the essential amino acids in the adequate amounts. An incomplete protein
is missing one or more essential
amino acid, and that’s called the limiting amino acid. In general, when we think
about complete proteins, we usually look at animal
proteins as complete. And plant proteins
as incomplete. Couple exceptions to
that rule, soy and quinoa are complete proteins. Now, that doesn’t mean
that we can’t offset that. If you look at cultures that
have developed and thrived over thousands of years, many
times the staple of their diet is an example of
how complementing, putting to complete
proteins together, like rice and beans,
that’s a good example. OK. The third class of
nutrients are lipids. Lipids is a family, really. There are three types of lipids. Fat, steriles,
and phospholipids. Fat is what is the
essential nutrient. There are essential fats. Steriles the body makes. The best example with
sterile is a cholesterol. And cholesterol,
certainly, our body makes, and sometimes, for some
people, we make way too much. And then the third member
of the lipid family is a phospholipid
that’s lecithin. Lecithin, even though
it’s considered a lipid, actually looks a lot like
vitamin D, if you look at it. And It is not essential either. The body makes it. Although if you were
around in the 70s, lecithin supplements were
all the rage for sex drive. You know, they can say
anything they want, so they do. So what we’re focusing
on are the fats. Fats are made up of–
they have a backbone, a glycerol backbone, and they
have fatty acids attached to the glycerol backbone. They usually come in threes. That’s why we have what’s
called a triglyceride. And that’s how it
circulates in the blood. If you’ve ever had
your blood test done, they’ll tell you what
your triglycerides are. Those are the circulating
fats in your bloodstream. It’s the fatty acids that we– there are several fatty
acids that are essential. So when I say fat, people
usually go, ooh, fat. Fat– it serves
several functions. Dietary fat provides those
essential fatty acids that we cannot make that
we need for health. It’s a source of
energy, though we don’t want to use it for energy. Animals, hibernating animals,
have adapted to this. Fat has over twice
as many calories as carbohydrates and proteins. And in our body, it’s
a storage system. So body fat is also
called adipose. That’s a nice storage system. Hibernating animals
will pack up or increase that stored energy, the
adipose, to get them through those long
periods of hibernation. We don’t hibernate. So we don’t need that fat. And many of our other
animals don’t need that fat, because excess body fat is
what is associated with many of the metabolic
diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. And then the other
function of dietary fat is to carry
fat-soluble vitamins. So there are certain vitamins
that they have to tag on to fat and redistribute it to the body. So now we’re moving on to
the small nutrients, which are the vitamins and
minerals and water. And they do not
provide any energy. They don’t provide– they
don’t have any calories. When I do vitamins
and minerals, it is the most boring class,
or boring part of class. So I group them together
by similar functions. Similar foods to help
you remember them. So the first one, doesn’t really
have a good partner in crime. So it’s just a vision
vitamin, vitamin A. It’s important in not
only vision, specifically night vision. But it’s an important part of
the lining of the GI tract, starting in the mouth. And it’s involved
in bone growth. Vitamin A comes in two forms,
it comes in an animal form and a plant form. The animal form is
retinol, and so that’s what you find in liver, for
all of you that eat liver. Keratin is the plan form. And it’s actually what gives
plans a lot of their colors. So the deep greens, the
oranges, the reds, those are good sources
of beta-keratin. Deficiencies of vitamin A, a lot
of times, it’s night blindness. So people have difficulty
seeing at night. The second grouping are
the bone and cheek vitamins and minerals. So here we have calcium
phosphorus, vitamin D, and fluoride. When you look at the bone, and
in teeth, we have a matrix. The bone matrix is made up
of calcium and phosphorus. So it’s a nice, strong matrix,
calcium and phosphorus. Where vitamin D comes in
is vitamin D washes over and makes that matrix hard. So calcium and phosphorus
are the foundation, and vitamin D hardens
that foundation to make the strong bone. And fluoride is involved in
strengthening, protecting the teeth enamel. Milk and milk products
are that sources of vitamin D, calcium,
and phosphorus. And, of course,
fluorinated water is the best source of fluoride. When you think
about deficiencies, you go back to their functions,
so calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D can all
cause bone issues. Osteoporosis is the
number one bone issue. It’s a calcium deficiency. And osteoporosis
means porous bones. So that the matrix
is kind of missing. So that sets you up for breaks. And then, of course,
vitamin D causes of Rickett. You have the matrix
but it’s weak. And you see Ricketts in children
and developing countries and if you look at pictures
of them, they’re bowlegged. And the weight of the
upper body on the bones, the weak bones, it actually
causes them to bow out. And then an adult
vitamin D deficiency is called osteomalacia
soft bone. And of course, you
are all familiar with a big epidemiology, dental
decay and fluoride, and which led to all of the
fluoridization of water. The next grouping
are the antioxidants. Antioxidants, just to give
you a simple example– antioxidants are kind
of like vacuum cleaners, at the cell level. Within the cell there are a lot
of chemical reactions going on, and there are by products. Some of the byproducts,
if they sit around, they can cause changes in the
genetic material, not good. Could be potentially
cancer causing. So what the antioxidants
do is they come, in and they clean up,
those by products, those waste products
of cellular reactions. So really, it’s
kind of like fiber. Fiber, in the large
intestine, they bind the waste
products of digestion, and package it and excrete it. Within the cell, that’s
what antioxidants do. The antioxidants are vitamin
C, vitamin E, and selenium. Vitamin C is our friend
here in Florida. it’s the– anything with citrus contains
vitamin C. In addition to being involved with
as an antioxident, vitamin C is also
important for immunity. It’s very important for wound
healing, collagen formation that helps with wound healing. So that’s an
additional function. Vitamin E and selenium, they’re
pretty much just antioxidants. Sources, citrus
fruits, as I said, the Sunshine State,
vitamin C. Oils, nuts, are good sources of
vitamin E. Very widespread. And vegetables and whole grains
are good sources of selenium, very widespread, you don’t
have to really work at it. The main– you don’t really
see vitamin E and selenium deficiencies in humans, but a
vitamin C deficiency, again, another nutritional
epidemiology work, it’s scurvy. The sailors that
traveled at sea, they didn’t have their citrus
fruits, and so by the time they got back from
their long voyages, their teeth were falling out,
their gums were bleeding, and that’s how– they
gave one group limes. An that’s why, Supposedly,
they’re called limies now. OK. Vitamin K, very simply, it’s
the blood clotting vitamin. There are some 19 reactions
in blood clotting, and vitamin K is involved
in over half of those. Good sources are green
leafy vegetables, liver, and vitamin K is
very interesting in that the bacteria– the healthy bacteria that
reside in our large intestines, they make vitamin K,
which we can reabsorb as a source of the vitamin. Any of your grandparents that
have been put on Coumadin, they are put on a
vitamin K restriction, so you probably
heard about, I can’t eat green leafy vegetables,
or things like that. OK. Next grouping are what I call
the energy release vitamins. These are the old B vitamins. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin,
panthothenic acid and biotin. They all work together
in the Krebs cycle, which I guess we now– the energy release,
TCA cycle, if you didn’t have to memorize that,
at some point in your college education, good for you. The sources are really
the whole grains, and what happens is the
whole grains contain on the outer shell,
the hull of the kernel, they contain these B vitamins. But when they process the wheat,
they take off that outer hull, and you lose the b vitamins. So if you look at
your food labels, which everybody looks at
their food labels, right? You’re looking for enriched. Enriched, they are
required by law to add those B vitamins
back after they mill it, because we want to get those
very critical vitamins back in to the food supply. So I just provided–
enriched grain is really for all of them. In addition, for riboflavin,
milk is a good source. Pork is a good source of niacin. Mill will give riboflavin. And then pantothenic acid
and biotin are widespread. And various forms
of deficiencies that really leave
you feeling, it’s not anemia, but
really lack of energy, because you’re not
converting the energy that you’re consuming. As well as we see a
lot of the b vitamin deficiencies in the mouth. The gums, the lips, a lot
of cracks and bleeding, So mouth is a real telltale
area for b vitamin deficiencies overall. The next grouping are
the blood cell nutrients, speaking of anemia. B-12, folic acid,
and iron are all involved in the formation
of red blood cells. B-12 is basically only
found in animal foods. So a vegan has to make sure
they’re getting vitamin B-12 fortified foods to get an
adequate it amount of B-12. Folic acid is more
in your plant, you green leafy vegetables. And folic acid, because of its
link with neural tube defects, it’s being added
to a lot of food. So you’ll see folic
acid in cereals, in orange juice,
about as well absorbed as in plants, but though
not quite as well absorbed, but still a good source. And iron comes in two forms, an
animal form and a plant form. The animal form is
very well absorbed, but Popeye the sailor man, you
have to eat a lot of spinach to get all the
iron that you need. There are little tricks. If you pair vitamin C
with your plant source. So say you have a spinach
salad and you put some tomatoes and carrots on top
of it, it’s going to increase the absorption of
that iron, that type of iron to as high as what you
would get in read mean. So little tricks
that we do depending on your eating patterns. Vitamin B-6 is the
protein vitamin. Because it’s very important in
the formation of whole proteins and to main source of B-6
is animals foods, so mean and dairy. Iodine is what I call the
metabolism mineral, very important in metabolic rate. And a deficiency causes goiter,
that enlarged thyroid gland. And in children, when they
have iodine deficiency, it impairs the cognitive
development– an old, ugly term called cretinism. But it’s a iodine
deficiency that results in mental retardation. Again, globally, I’ve
seen a lot of goiter. But because we
have iodized salt, we don’t have an issue
in the United States. Seafood is also
another good source. OK. The last grouping are what
I call the water minerals. So these are sodium,
potassium, chloride. They are very important
in moving water in and out of the cells. In addition to water
movement, they’re involved in acid base balance. And vitamin K has an
additional function. And that is with nerve impulses,
in particular, heart beat. The food sources, sodium,
potassium, chloride, what is that? Sodium chloride, table
salt. So anything that’s canned or
preserved with sodium. And potassium is in a
lot of fruits, potatoes. And last of all the
nutrients is water. Water, of all the nutrients that
we talked about, is the most– if I had to say– it is the
most essential or most vital. It makes up over half of
the human’s body weight. It’s found within cells and
extra, outside of cells, and they’re constantly moving
through the cell membrane. And it’s the electrolytes
that help that movement. The functions are it carries
nutrients throughout body and then brings the
waste for excretion. It’s a lubricant between joints. It’s involved in cushioning,
surrounds the fetus. It provides the cell form
and most importantly, very critically, is the
temperature regulation. OK. So it’s the nutrient
requirement. So that was Nutrition
101, the nutrients. But as I said, one
of the big challenges is that we don’t always
know a particular species’ exact nutrient requirement,
that many times we have to take a similar
species, and extrapolate to another species. But that’s the general nutrients
that we’re tyring to feed. A second factor to look at when
you are planning a zoo animals diet is the feeding type
and their digestive tract. Of course, feeding
types, they range from carnivores, herbivores
to omnivores, but even within that, you
have some species that are very selective,
very specific. So pandas with bamboo. But you have carnivores
that only fish, will only eat insects. Versus those that
have a varied diet. From a nutrient
standpoint, which do you think would be easier? The varied. The varied, because
you’re assuring that with that
variety, you’re getting more and more of those
vitamins and minerals and other nutrients. Their physical features
are developed over time to help them find
food and consume food. And I think one thing
that’s really important is trying to help them keep
those features as developed, as healthy as possible. So you think about the
teeth in the lions. And so could we give
some bones to help keep their teeth healthy? herbivores, with their
flat molars to help grind up vegetation. So what can we do to
mimic their natural diet and keep some of those
other features fine-tuned. And then you get into
the digestive system, as a dietitian
working with humans, this is very simple for me. Carnivores in general, we have
a very simple digestive system. We don’t have microbial
fermentation going on and all the issues
that go with that. But when you get into
like the herbivores, they have much more
complicated digestive systems. They have that capacity
to ferment carbohydrates. So when we have the ruminants,
like the giraffes, the cows, the wildebeests,
they have a foregut where the microbes reside. And they actually ferment,
and we can, kind of like vitamin K in our
large intestines in humans, they can use that as
a nutrient source. The non-ruminants,
like horses and zebras, their bacteria is
more in the hind gut. They have less of the
fermentation going on. Just a couple of the
examples, sent over from Eduardo at
Animal Kingdom, this is the Colobus monkey, who
is the primate equivalent to a ruminant. Because they have that
large, sacculated stomach. And so they rely a
lot on fermenting the fiber and other
leaf-based foods for the bacterial
fermentation, for nutrients. And then the hindgut fermenters. So they have a variable
adaptation wit fiber, and are more developed. An example of that are
the howler monkeys. And I think, one
thing that’s important is that microbial population,
when you look at that, even in humans, sometimes when
you go on a pretty intensive antibiotic, it wipes the
microbial floor clean, and then we get into a lot
of issues with digestion. Because we don’t have
healthy microbial flora. So keeping it as healthy is
possible or replenishing it if we have issues, like a
severe diarrhea or antibiotics. The third factor to keep
in mind is the food access. And this is where we get into
issues about the quantity and quality of food offered. The soil that the
browse is grown from can vary in the nutrient
content and how much production. So trying to analyze
or having foods that they consume that
have already been analyzed, so you are assured of
the nutrient content. And when you think about like
right now, I’m watching– I am paying attention, but I am
watching the giraffe browsing. So what’s the content of the
leaves that he’s consuming, and could that vary
by seasonality? Another thing that
can affect food access is you keepers that are giving
them, the presentation, how you present the food to them. Is it kind of like in a fun way,
or is it in an aluminum bowl? But also we had this– believe
it or not– when I heard this, I just kind of laughed, because
it reminded me of the nurses when I worked in the hospital. And they’d come up, and
they’d deliver the tray to the patients. And they’d take the lid off
and go, oh, it’s meatloaf. You know, do you
want to eat that? Already you are predisposed
to not liking it. So sometimes keepers can– well, they don’t
really like that, and they don’t maybe
give them enough time to eat the vegetable– Bless you– or they
take it away quickly. It’s funny how we can put
our own human preferences on others or on the animals. So even keepers can have a role
in how accepted the food is. And presentation is important. And of course the
animal preferences, too. The fourth factor to keep in
mind when planning the diet is their health status,
so infectious diseases, if they have some type
of infection going on. That’s going to increase
their metabolic rate. They have an open wound, it’s
going to increase their protein needs for healing. What we’re really seeing and
where we’re overlapping so much more are the chronic diseases. So we’re having more and
more animals across species developing diabetes. I think we saw it
first in the primates, but now it’s crossing
over to so many species that are experiencing heart
disease, kidney disease, so managing these animals
are very much a challenge. And how we make
adaptations, especially in the macronutrient content
of the diet to promote control. And monitoring is
really critical, and I’d love to hear
about how you all monitor, but looking at intake
studies that document how much they’re taking in. And you can get real specific
in your intake studies, by weighing what you
are offering them and comparing to what
is being excreted. So you can get a
real actual intake. Analyzing the food that
they’re being provided. And then monitoring their
growth and still growing animals that– also weight, biochemical data. It’s really important just to
catch some of these developing issues early. And even body condition. Working as closely as
you do with the animals, you can see changes in
their skin integrity, eve how inflammation,
if they’re favoring certain joints or something. That physical assessment
that you perform is very important in monitoring
for the health of the animal. The last consideration
in planning the diet is how the animal
is being managed. That extends to the enclosure. Do they have lots of space to
move around, or is it limited? What are the
environmental conditions? We talked about heat. If it’s really hot out, they’re
going to need more water. They have a higher energy
need during those times. The feeding situation,
things that you can do to promote movement. So if you can scatter
some of their foods throughout to encourage
them to move around that is really important. I know you do some
public feeding, and I was thrilled
to hear that– one recommendation
statement I saw was they discourage
public feeding– but when I heard that you’re
giving romaine out, I loved it. Because that is definitely
a recommended food. And then the presentation. We had students that spent
some time at Animal Kingdom. And for some of the gorillas,
they would take pine cones and put the peanut
butter in them, and really encouraging them
to play and seek out the food and move around. So presentation is
really important, too. OK. So how do you translate all
those factors into a diet? Well, there isn’t one
size fits all, really. It really has to be a
combination of something that’s more of a combination of a
nutritional complete feed and then adding
food for enrichment. Here’s an African elephant. That’s the variety of food. They use a lot of
pellets over there. Eight to 10
kilograms of pellets. The hays, what types
of hays are allowed. The browse, which
is elephant grass. They do enrichments
with vegetables. Supplements as needed
based on the biochemicals. And then water as needed. Here’s another
example of a tamarind. And those various foods, a
lot of vegetables and fruits, peanuts, flour, and then
a seed mix being ground. No variety, the tiger
example of a wet diet with some– they rotate by
day some type of bone or horse tail, rabbit. And then I don’t have the
actual ingredient list but here’s a couple pictures
of the pellets with enrichment that’s provided to the
keepers for a tapir. And here is the pellets,
a low starch pellet that’s used for the primates. Always food safety. Food safety is a
big push for humans, and it’s very important
for animals, too. Think about that, being
sick from our foods. Supplement with
thiamine when feeding frozen fish, because freezing
destroys the thiamine content, and not feeding raw hamburger,
because of the food safety issues. And then I’m just finishing
up with some of the crossover diseases that we’ve seen. Obesity in primates
here is one of– this is Gus, a gorilla that
they put on a low starch chow. And after they put him
on a low starch chow, he was able to significantly
lower his body weight. Just like humans, it’s
better to monitor and pick up the little weight gain, and
prevent further weight gain, than putting them on
a diet afterwards. There was a gorilla
that they had at– I don’t think he’s still alive– Gino, at Animal Kingdom. And he was very obese,
and they put him on a diet, increased
activity as much as possible. Gino was one mad guy,
talk about hangry. And so it wasn’t all about
his diet restrictions, but it is better to monitor or
and try to prevent or catch it early and intervene
versus taking off a lot. It was when Gino
came from another zoo that it overfed
him, and then they were trying to get him
back into a healthy weight. But talking about an
animal management problem, it was very tough. Some of the work that’s been
done on the iron overload, in the black rhinos. And we had some early
discussions about in nature, rhino’s diets are lower in iron. And so they look at putting
them on a low iron diet, chelating, giving them a
chelating agent to help bind the iron. But I appreciate– even
some of the reading I started to see
that there might be other factors involved. And I love that whole concept of
inflammation, that putting him on an anti- inflammatory diet
might help prevent and treat some of these issues. And some metabolic
bone diseases that you see in a variety of
animals, with the Puerto Rican blue frogs, blue
toads, that Eduardo loves to work with. We looked at it was a
calcium phosphorus imbalance, and so we’ve been giving
them a phosphorus binder to help break down the ratio–
bring it back to healthy terms to treat metabolic bone disease. Unfortunately, when this happens
it’s pretty much irreversible. And again, acknowledge
Dr. Valdez for his help in preparing for
this and working with him over the years. At this point,
I’ll turn it over, because there’s some interesting
thoughts of what you all are doing here at Lowry.