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Are we so different from animals ?

Commented on October 19, 2011
Created October 19, 2011 at 9:02 AM

From Merc Veterinary Manual - Nutrient Requirements of Nonhuman Primates

Vitamin C   200 mg/kg
Vitamin D3  2,500 IU/kg
Vitamin E   100 mg/kg
Vitamin K1  0.5 mg/kg
Choline     750 mg/kg
Zinc        100 mg/kg
Iodine      0.35 mg/kg

[NOTE: I was wrong in analysis as pointed out by cliff, this is mg/kg-of-chaw, not commonly used notion mg/kg-body-weight. So this can explain some astronomical doses, like that of D3. Some points still stand, but are not related to Merc manual.]

Some of those requirements had not been directly tested and there are probably some mistakes, however, it strikes me that those values are so much higher then humans values (x1000 - x100000). Some of those values are probably directly tested in various zoos and any serious adverse effects from those vitamins would be easily seen.

C really makes me wonder.... many primates, as humans, can't synthesize vitamin C, they have the same GULO gene mutated. Yet they require 200mg/kg and this is not so dissimilar to 50mg/kg that are claimed as beneficial by some orthomolecular practitioners. This is 16g/day for 80kg human.

Loss of GULO activity in the primate order occurred about 63 million years ago, at about the time it split into the suborders haplorrhini (which lost the enzyme activity) and the more primitive strepsirrhini (which retained it). The haplorrhini ("simple nosed") primates, which cannot make vitamin C enzymatically, include the tarsiers and the simians (apes, monkeys and humans). The suborder strepsirrhini (bent or wet-nosed prosimians), which are still able to make vitamin C enzymatically, include lorises, galagos, pottos, and, to some extent, lemurs

What happens if you don't take enough C then u need? It looks like many, many bad things. There is that engineered GULO-/- mice, which is used as model for humans as it has GULO gene disabled by scientists. Look how their blood vehicles look like when they don't get enough C in food. This model is far from natural one as knock-out studies suffer from the fact that animals didn't have time to adapt for gene loss, but still, its valuable evidence never the less.

In non-human, furry primates, vitamin D is synthesized in the skin and then secreted into the fur. It is then digested orally through the process of grooming themselves and others. I guess amount made is not that high as with humans as Sun exposure and IV radiation is also used to create it. Thats why primates might require such large amounts. For 80 kg human that would be 200 000 IU, which is also sometimes used with humans [note: don't do this at home] in treatment of various disease states. However, since humans are probably more efficient it is probably safe to assume that we would need much more reduced levels. That primates need much more D3 could be find around, for instance:

The level of vitamin D supplementation (2000 to 4000 IU/day) used in this study population are insuficient to maintain chimpanzee vitamin D levels, suggesting that a dietary or absorption problem exists in chimpanzees; or (c) chimpanzees may require more sun exposure than do humans to produce the same amount of vitamin D3 (possibly due to the fact that chimpanzees have more hair covering the skin).

Iodine translated to 80kg gives 28mg which is only double of recommended orthoiodine supplementation of ~14mg.

Why are primates, our closest relatives, so different from us when optimal amounts of nutrients are in question? I bet we are not, and if we are better or more optimized at some biochemical pathways I doubt that we are so uber that we require trace amounts for optimal health. As noted in paper "Micronutrient intakes of wild primates: are humans different?

Though the bioavailability of micronutrients to wild primates is almost totally unstudied, a high intake of various micronutrients (e.g. vitamin C, E, provitamin A and calcium) appears to be the norm. The difference between the estimated intake of certain micronutrients by wild primates and humans is striking..... A better understanding of the possible health implications of such intake differences seems imperative due to the strong biological similarity of humans to other higher primats and the growing realization that micronutreints may play far more important roles in human development, health and longevity then formerly have been appreciated.

Are we different ? Are you willing to negate everything that genomics learned us. We can take gene from jelly fish and make it work in rabbit but for many people its hard to conceive that we might need similar amounts of those funny molecules then other animals.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:19 AM

From: http://www.vet.uga.edu/VPP/clerk/Harrell/index.php

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:19 AM

Still, they require higher intakes. Not that higher as I was originally stroked. That follows more from other link now then from Merck manual. That veterinars express in mg/kg is well known fact, for instance: The animal should be placed on oral vitamin K1 at a dose of 2.5-5.0 mg / kg every 24 hours for at least 5-7 days. It looks like zoo's do not follow that notion.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:17 AM

Still, they require higher intakes. Not that higher as I was originally stroked. That follows more from other link now then from Merck manual .

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:12 AM

Good catch... you are probably right. Vitamin concentrations are often expressed as mg/kg of body weight... actually, that is the norm. That high D3 level was suspicious. It doesn't state that on the site. I double checked for fiew of them and it seemed that those that I was interested in were similar on other places. I know that orangutans require large C doses - I have seen from 6-12g per day.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 19, 2011
at 10:10 AM

Well, good catch... I am not sure. Vitamin concentrations are often expressed as mg/kg of body weight... actually, that is the norm. It doesn't state that on the site. You might be right nevertheless. I double checked some claims and it seemed that those that I was interested in were similar on other places. But you seem to be right

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:58 AM

Are you sure those aren't nutrients per kg of monkey chow/biscuits? That makes a lot more sense and seems to be what is indicated on the website.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:35 AM

Maybe the fruitarians were right all along and we should all be eating a chimpanzee diet...

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