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Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores?: first insights in the cheetah

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Abstract
As wild felids are obligate carnivores, it is likely that poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissues determine hindgut fermentation, instead of plant fibre. Therefore, faecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA, including branched-chain fatty acids, BCFA), indole and phenol were evaluated in 14 captive cheetahs, fed two different diets differing in proportion of poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissue. Using a cross-over design, the cheetahs were fed exclusively whole rabbit or supplemented beef for 1 month each. Feeding whole rabbit decreased faecal propionic (p < 0.001) and butyric (p = 0.013) acid concentrations, yet total SCFA was unaltered (p = 0.146). Also, a remarkably higher acetic acid to propionic acid ratio (p = 0.013) was present when fed whole rabbit. Total BCFA (p = 0.011) and putrefactive indole (p = 0.004) and phenol (p = 0.002) were lower when fed whole rabbit. Additionally, serum indoxyl sulphate, a toxic metabolite of indole, was analysed and showed a quadratic decrease (p = 0.050) when fed whole rabbit. The divergent SCFA ratios and the decrease in putrefaction when fed whole rabbit could be caused by the presence of undigested tissue, such as skin, bone and cartilage, that might have fibre-like functions. The concept of animal fibre is an unexplored area of interest relevant to gastrointestinal health of captive cheetahs and likely other felids.
Keywords
Acinonyx jubatus, fermentation, whole prey, intestinal health, CHAIN FATTY-ACIDS, ACINONYX-JUBATUS, DIETARY FIBER, FECAL CHARACTERISTICS, DETERGENT FIBER, INDOXYL SULFATE, EXOTIC FELIDS, DOMESTIC CAT, HEALTHY CATS, DIGESTIBILITY

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Chicago
Depauw, Sarah, Myriam Hesta, Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, Lynn Vanhaecke, Adronie Verbrugghe, and Geert Janssens. 2013. “Animal Fibre: The Forgotten Nutrient in Strict Carnivores?: First Insights in the Cheetah.” Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 97 (1): 146–154.
APA
Depauw, Sarah, Hesta, M., Whitehouse-Tedd, K., Vanhaecke, L., Verbrugghe, A., & Janssens, G. (2013). Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores?: first insights in the cheetah. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION, 97(1), 146–154.
Vancouver
1.
Depauw S, Hesta M, Whitehouse-Tedd K, Vanhaecke L, Verbrugghe A, Janssens G. Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores?: first insights in the cheetah. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION. 2013;97(1):146–54.
MLA
Depauw, Sarah, Myriam Hesta, Katherine Whitehouse-Tedd, et al. “Animal Fibre: The Forgotten Nutrient in Strict Carnivores?: First Insights in the Cheetah.” JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION 97.1 (2013): 146–154. Print.
@article{1946329,
  abstract     = {As wild felids are obligate carnivores, it is likely that poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissues determine hindgut fermentation, instead of plant fibre. Therefore, faecal concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA, including branched-chain fatty acids, BCFA), indole and phenol were evaluated in 14 captive cheetahs, fed two different diets differing in proportion of poorly enzymatically digestible animal tissue. Using a cross-over design, the cheetahs were fed exclusively whole rabbit or supplemented beef for 1 month each. Feeding whole rabbit decreased faecal propionic (p {\textlangle} 0.001) and butyric (p = 0.013) acid concentrations, yet total SCFA was unaltered (p = 0.146). Also, a remarkably higher acetic acid to propionic acid ratio (p = 0.013) was present when fed whole rabbit. Total BCFA (p = 0.011) and putrefactive indole (p = 0.004) and phenol (p = 0.002) were lower when fed whole rabbit. Additionally, serum indoxyl sulphate, a toxic metabolite of indole, was analysed and showed a quadratic decrease (p = 0.050) when fed whole rabbit. The divergent SCFA ratios and the decrease in putrefaction when fed whole rabbit could be caused by the presence of undigested tissue, such as skin, bone and cartilage, that might have fibre-like functions. The concept of animal fibre is an unexplored area of interest relevant to gastrointestinal health of captive cheetahs and likely other felids.},
  author       = {Depauw, Sarah and Hesta, Myriam and Whitehouse-Tedd, Katherine and Vanhaecke, Lynn and Verbrugghe, Adronie and Janssens, Geert},
  issn         = {0931-2439},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF ANIMAL PHYSIOLOGY AND ANIMAL NUTRITION},
  keyword      = {Acinonyx jubatus,fermentation,whole prey,intestinal health,CHAIN FATTY-ACIDS,ACINONYX-JUBATUS,DIETARY FIBER,FECAL CHARACTERISTICS,DETERGENT FIBER,INDOXYL SULFATE,EXOTIC FELIDS,DOMESTIC CAT,HEALTHY CATS,DIGESTIBILITY},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {146--154},
  title        = {Animal fibre: the forgotten nutrient in strict carnivores?: first insights in the cheetah},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0396.2011.01252.x},
  volume       = {97},
  year         = {2013},
}

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