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Effect of molting on the concentration of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D in captive African penguins (Spheniscus demersus).

Ueda, Kentaro; Akashi, Fumiko; Kawasaki, Motoki; Matsui, Tohru.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30308304
Feed intake and body weight are drastically altered in penguins during peri-molting period, and molting is known to affect the nutritional status of vitamin A and E. Although vitamin D status is not known in penguins during peri-molting period, vitamin D intake is supposed to be remarkably altered. The objective of the present study was to clarify the alterations in plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration, the most reliable biomarker for assessing vitamin D status, and vitamin D intake during peri-molting period. Blood samples were collected from seven adult male African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) in the control period, pre-molting period, early-molting period, and late-molting period. The dietary content of vitamin D and calcium (Ca) were higher than that of the estimated requirements. Feed intake increased in the pre-molting period and drastically decreased during the molting periods. Body weight increased in the pre-molting period, followed by the loss of weight towards the end of the experiment. Although vitamin D and Ca intakes decreased during the molting periods, plasma 25(OH)D concentration increased during the molting periods and the increase in plasma Ca concentration was also observed in the late-molting period. These results suggest that the reduction in body fat induced by reducing feed intake stimulated the release of vitamin D from body fat, which increased plasma 25(OH)D and Ca concentrations in molting penguins. Penguins are unlikely to suffer from typical hypervitaminosis D even during molting and vitamin D toxicity is not a realistic problem in penguins because of the short duration of molting.