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#9277 - 08/22/03 08:06 AM Vit D3 - where in the wild?
DeXien Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 1857
Loc: England, UK
Sorry Mary.. stole your quote. But it IS interesting.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Another item of interest, the main source for the VitD is from the brains of cattle, the brains and skin of swine. Gliders need the calcium supplement with VitD3, but as to the exact amount, I'll leave that up to the experts. My vet with whom I disagree, said the glider would get enough D3 from its regular diet. Since we do not feed any fish products or other foods that contain any significant amount of VitD, we will continue to suppliment. We have been raising gliders for 7 years on the BML diet, so I trust the amounts specified in that particular diet. I'm not saying this the diet to end all diet research, just saying it works for us so until something that is better is proven we will be staying with it.
mary h & Charlie

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Does anyone know where gliders get the D3 from in the wild? I don't mean to stir up any huge debate, I'm just curious and didn't want to tag along on the end of the post I stole what Mary said from.

I found this about what gliders eat in the wild , but still nothing about the D3.
"in the wild, sugar gliders eat arthropods, Acacia species gum, Eucalyptus species phloem sap, nectar and pollen, manna (sap oozing from wounds on trees produced by other sap-sucking animals), and honeydew (the exudate produced by some sapsucking insects). Seasonal variance occurs, with plant exudates making up most of the diet in autumn and winter and invertebrates in spring and summer."
_________________________
Saffron -- OOP 7th April 2003-> 8th May 2013. RIP, sweetheart.

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#9278 - 08/22/03 11:00 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
mary h Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Wallis, Texas
I have often wondered the same thing. Also, how accurate the wild diets listed are. Have they ever been analyzied to see just how much cal, pho, protein, etc. are in them? Even if the diets that the gliders eat in the wild are reasonably accurate does this mean that it is what the glider really needs or just what is available. Lots of people take vitamins but lots of people do not. How essential are they if you are eating a reasonably balanced diet. But what is a balanced diet. The dieticians are now saying that the food pyramid we studied in school is inaccurate. After all this time if we cannot decide on what humans need for a healthy diet, who is to say what a gliders requirements are. At best we can only go with the proven diets and hope to improve upon them in the future. The BML diet has been around for a long time, and lots of us use it as the basis for the diets we feed. I would not argue as to whether it is the best or worst. When we were searching for a diet, we found it to be the most effective for saving rejected joeys and nursing resccues back to health. Once in the beginning of searching for a good diet we called one of the people who have a very popular diet published. After talking with her and then doing exactly what we were told, in three days we had a bunch of gliders with diarrhea. We marked that one off of our list. Even our vet is not sure about D3, and suggested that it could be harmful to gliders if given in too large of quantities. Guess that could be true of anything though.
She seemed to think the gliders would get all the vit D they need from the fruits and vegs. I do not think I would like to run the risk of that esp. after having dealt with gliders with HLP.
mary h & Charlie
_________________________
mary h

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#9279 - 08/22/03 01:04 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
BeetleJuice Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 2724
Loc: Summerville, SC
I don't have any clear answers, but just to add to the discussion. There are very few foods (especially out of those that are considered to be among a gliders "natural" diet) that contain significant amounts of Vit D3. The added D3 to most diets (including ours) is to aide in calcium absorption that would otherwise be derived from other sources (i.e. UV lighting etc...). Most doctors will tell you that in humans, the two primary metabolizers for calcium absorption is sunlight(generates Vitamin D) and stomach acid. It is clear that Sugar Gliders in captivity have very limited exposure to UV rays (the beneficial part of the sunlight), what is unclear is how much they are actually exposed to in the wild. A pane of glass or hair will stop or greatly reduce UV rays. Since Gliders are nocturnal and are generally sleeping under shelter during the day, how much do they really get? If they are not generating D3 from UV exposure, what foods do they eat that may supplement the D3? "Vit.D is not found in vegetable material unless sun cured such as hay. It's not abundant in animal tissues except fish liver oils, eggs, and colostrum(but not other milk)." According to this excerpt, there is relatively little in a Gliders natural diet that would supply D3. So the question is not really where they get their D3 from in the wild, but what are they using to aid in their calcium absorption? Does some part of their natural diet generate an increased amount of stomach acid that aides in calcium absorption, or is their some other Vit/mineral that is derived from their natural diet that serves this function? Are they even getting what their bodies require nutritionally in the wild? The average lifespan for a wild glider is purportedly 4 to 5 years. This can be attributed to several factors (competition for food, predators, destruction of natural habitat, etc...), but you would think that dietary issues play a large part in the diminished life span (as compared to domestic gliders). So I guess in a sense, ascertaining what their natural diet is and how that is metabolized in to their daily requirements has limited benefits in my mind. What we need is more information on what their nutritional requirements are (regardless of whether they are captive or wild) so a diet can be created or modified to meet those needs. The only way to obtain such data is for those that are truly concerned to support research that is attempting to discover those very facts. We can speculate and hypothesize to no end, based on anecdotal and available data, but it really serves no useful purpose without scientifically derived facts to support them. Luckily there is one such study under way (are you (this is a collective you) supporting this research?)). Until the results of the study are completed, the best each of us can do is to choose a diet that has proven itself over time, to promote a healthy, happy glider.


_________________________
Craig

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#9280 - 08/22/03 05:22 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
mary h Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Wallis, Texas
Makes one wonder if we are basing the need for D3 on human and other large mammal's needs. Do nocturnal animals even need D3 to utilize calcium? What about, for instance bats, which see very little or no sunlight. Could the glider's need for D3 just be someone's educated assumption that has caught on and been taught for so long that it is now considered fact? In the raising of reptiles, I know of one diet that does not use any calcium or vitamin suppliments and the person who came up with the diet has been successfully raising reptiles for several years. His theory is proper diet and not suppliments is the answer, and it seems to be working. Even when rehabilitating reptiles that are deficient in calcium and other minerals. I would in no way suggest that glider owners pursue this practice by giving up the vit and calcium suppliments. Just wondering.
mary h & Charlie
_________________________
mary h

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#9281 - 08/22/03 05:45 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"blue"] Glider Greetings: <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wave.gif" alt="" />

Just a short side note.....for those of you who are worried about the agrument over human vs. reptile vitamins. The article that Shaz linked to and written by a vet at the University of Kansas and a MSc at the University of Florida recommend Rep-Cal with D3 and Herptivite!!!!

Glider Article
[/]

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#9282 - 08/22/03 07:09 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
mary h Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Wallis, Texas
Although the authors of the article reccomend the supplimenting with D3, that does not necessarily make it an item that should be given to the gliders. For each vet you find that would say use it, you can also find one who will tell you it is not necessary and can be dangerous. We have read many recommendations on this board that were made by vets in diets as well as health that most all experienced glider owners consider to be wrong. Just because a vet or someone with a string of letters behind their name writes an article, does not make it gospel. Quiet often the source of information for most of these articles are the same sources we use in our research. They are only repeating what someone
who is supposed to be an authority has written. I still question the thoroughness and accuracy of these so called studies of glider diets in the wild. Since gliders in the wild feed at night, it is going to take an awful lot of time to figure out exactly what they are eating. Maybe by killing them and analyzing what is inside them they could get some idea, but that would take killing a lot of gliders and it would have to cover all seasons of the year, as well as different areas of the forests they inhabit. Even then, if we knew what they were eating in the wild the question would still remain. Is the wild diet what is best for the glider?
As for the use of D3, it is theory and not face. Dosen't D3 come from anmial extracts and D2 from vegetable extracts? Why not D2?
mary h & Charlie
_________________________
mary h

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#9283 - 08/22/03 11:01 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


D2 is much less efficient at assisting mammals to use calcium... I don't know why, but the structure difference is a big difference.

I have been assured that gliders in the wild have no dietary issues that would cause early death. Wildly speculating here... maybe the bacteria in the glider's overly large cecum aids in vitamin production? How does bacteria establish itself in a new born glider cecum, anyway? Maybe our domestic gliders have lost that certain flora that is necessary for their special needs? <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />

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#9284 - 08/23/03 01:29 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Maybe they get exposed to more daylight than we think they do???

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#9285 - 08/23/03 04:27 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
mary h Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Wallis, Texas
Toni
I read an article that stated the baby gliders establish bacteria in their cecum by eating their mother's poop. On that same note, what happens to the bacteria that is put into the BML by using the baby juice with yogurt. Does it contain live cultures, and if so what happens when they are frozen? Since the diet provides for calcium and protein from other ingredients, and freezing yogurt kills the bacteris, I do not see the reason for including it in the mix.
mary h & Charlie
_________________________
mary h

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#9286 - 08/23/03 08:21 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kind of thinking along the sames lines as Randy... how feasible is it that they're actually getting D3 from the bugs that they eat? Doesn't D3 come from the sun? If they're eating insects that spend time in the daylight, is it possible that the insects have absorbed D3? I'm just taking a long shot here. Seems to me like it would be kind of like natural gutloading. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nixweiss.gif" alt="" />

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#9287 - 08/23/03 08:38 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Mary's post about whether we are basing it on their needs or not really strikes up a good question. This is a great topic and I hope we can find some answers!

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#9288 - 08/23/03 12:18 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I posted this in another forum and got an excellent answer but it's still not a definate yes or no if you know what I mean. Here is a part of it.

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />
Gliders get the majority of their Vit-D from the plants they ingest (pollen as well contains vit-D), and a small amount in the form of Vit-D3 from their meat sources (ie. eggs, chicken, etc). Vit-D3 is potentially dangerous to nocturnal animals because they do not use the sun to break it down, instead relying on their liver and kidneys. Vit-D is one of the fat-soluable vitamins (A, D, E, and K) that cause toxicity by being stored in the liver or kidneys. Vit-D3 is broken down much more slowly by solely gut processes, and thus can reach potentially toxic levels sooner than vit-D2.

Is there a specific amount of vit-D3 that is recommended for gliders? Sort of. Dr. Stephen Jackson (originally published by Dr. Rosemary Booth of New South Wales, Australia - both of these doctors study gliders in their natural and in domesticated environments) has published a reference to vit-D3

However, as with all vitamins and nutrients for gliders, if you feed them a diversely-based diet you need not worry about specific levels of each nutrient they require. Pick a diet and just stick to it, generally all the diets out there are generally balanced for gliders.


<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

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#9289 - 08/23/03 12:50 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
BeetleJuice Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 12/12/01
Posts: 2724
Loc: Summerville, SC
Just a note on the D2 issue. Aside from the point Toni made about D2 not being as readily absorbed, D2 is also 30 to 40 times less concentrated then D3 so is generally not considered a viable alternative for most domesticated pets that require vitamin D. Now how D3 could be utilized in the form of a supplement rather then D3, I am unsure, but strictly from a dietary derived supply, gliders cannot, from everything that I have read, obtain the required vitamin D from plant material (veggies).

Considering that Gliders only obtain trace amounts of D from most elements of their wild diet (D3 or D2), I do not think that it is actually needed in the wild, or at least it is utilized to a lesser degree. Which brings us back to the question, what mechanism do they use to aide in calcium absorption? I'm not sure that we can answer that at this point. Vitamin D is considered to be one of the most potentially toxic vitamins by many authorities, so are we feeding too much? Well if you consider how long some of the diets that utilize calcium with added D3 have been in existence, and also factor in the shear number of gliders that are on some of these diets without any indication that D3 toxicity is an issue, I would think that the amount given is somewhere near what is needed, and nowhere near a level that would risk toxicity. Of course that is pure speculation, but I think the lack of evidence to counter otherwise would support it.
_________________________
Craig

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#9290 - 08/23/03 03:20 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I can't find a source that says pollen contains significant vitamin D3. Where is that published? As for meat sources, yes egg yolks have vitamin D3, but I don't think that is a significant part of a glider's wild diet. Gliders eat gum, sap, and pollen in the wild from what I understand.

Also, vitamin D3 is NOT "broken down by the sun." It is MADE by the sun, hence why people need exposure to sunlight. Most of us don't get enough though, which is why our diet is also supplemented with vitamin D3. The argument about nocturnal animals NOT being exposed to sun is because they have other ways of getting D3, not because they need sun to break down D3. However, I contend that our "domestic" gliders need a source of D3, because 1. as of 3-6 years ago, many, MANY gliders were dying from HLP, something we don't see as frequently today because better diets for gliders have been developed and 2. we can't replicate their wild diet in Australia (if indeed that is where they are getting D3), so we have to make do with foods we have here.

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#9291 - 08/23/03 05:50 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
mary h Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 385
Loc: Wallis, Texas
I agree that the gliders diet should be supplimented with calcium and D3. The risk of HLP is too high not to. It would be nice though if we could find out how gliders in the wild get and utilize the calcium required by their systems. With the popularity of gliders as pets and more vets showing interest in them, maybe some of the colleges that do exotic animal research will do more in depth studies. We keep referring to the wild gliders diet in Australia when indeed most of the gliders imported into the US in the past few years come from Indonesia. I think Cathy Johnson-Delaney went there and did some research. I have read some quotes by her but have not actually seen a book or any full length articles. Speaking of the bee pollen. I wouldn't think it would contain D3 but a little of everything else. Did you ever read how be pollen is gathered from the bees? Seems a sort of brush is placed at the entrance of the hives and the pollen is brushed from the bee's feet as they enter the hives. Along with anything else that may have gotten picked up by the bee's feet, dust, mold spores, ragweed spores, etc. Bee pollen, unlike necture gathered by bees, is not processed through the bee's system. Depending on the area the bees are feeding in, you have no idea what could be in the pollen they gather. Wouldn't give it to my gliders.
mary h & Charlie
_________________________
mary h

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#9292 - 08/23/03 05:54 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
DeXien Offline
Glider Slave

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 1857
Loc: England, UK
Hmm.. this subject does seem very contradictory.

Becky Pickerings site, glidersrus.com, suggests this:

Be sure your pet gets at least one-half to one hour of unfiltered sunlight a day. This is necessary if you pet is not getting sufficient quantities of Vitamin-D3 in his or her diet or supplements. Sunlight converts Vitamin-D1 to D3 and the body then uses the D3 to process the calcium into bone material. It is relatively unknown how much orally ingested D3 is absorbed into the bloodstream, so sunlight is crucial. Our Glider responds very well to sunlight.

Whilst a lot of other sites state that too much sunlight will actually kill your glider.

It makes sense that we are supplementing their diet.. I can't remember where, but someone stated that because we control their diet, they live longer. By controlling what they eat, we can make sure they eat the good stuffs rather than just what they want to eat.
But is D3 really, essentially, needed? A wild glider will nest in the bowels of a tree lined with leaves.. I can't imagine sunlight getting into there anytime soon.

Perhaps Becky will have some input for us?
_________________________
Saffron -- OOP 7th April 2003-> 8th May 2013. RIP, sweetheart.

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#9293 - 08/23/03 07:58 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


wouldnt the sunlight hurt their eyes if they stayed out that long?

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#9294 - 08/24/03 06:12 AM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


[:"purple"]I don't know if we'll ever have a definate answer to this. I'm not worried about the D3 in the diets I am giving as I guess they have worked for generations of gliders, but this question keeps bugging me lol [/]

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#9295 - 08/24/03 05:16 PM Re: Vit D3 - where in the wild? [Re: ]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Shaz, I don't think gliders should be exposed to sunlight. I'm not sure where Becky got her information? My guys hate light, and I think sun would damage their sensitive eyes. I agree that wild gliders wouldn't get much, if any, exposure to sun. They either have bacteria that make D3 in their cecum or get it from their diet, I suppose.

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