Dietary antibiotics decrease taurine loss in cats fed a canned heat-processed diet

Seungwook W. Kim, Quinton Rogers, James Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


In a crossover design, cats were fed a canned heat-processed diet (18 g dry matter/kg initial body wt) either with (+) or without (-) antibiotics [a mixture of penicillin G, procaine (25 mg/18 g diet) and tetracycline (50 mg/18 g diet)]. The (-/+) group received no antibiotics during the first 5-wk period and received antibiotics during the second 5-wk period; the (+/-) group received the reverse. Plasma, whole blood, urinary and fecal concentrations of taurine, fecal bile acid excretion and cholyltaurine hydrolase activities were measured. Consumption of antibiotics for 5 wk resulted in a lower rate of depletion of plasma taurine. Taurine concentrations decreased more over the first 5 wk in cats in the (-/+) group than in cats in the (+/ -) group [from 116 ± 26 to 26 ± 6 μmol/L (-/+) and from 109 ± 6 to 77 ± 7 μmol/L (+/-) for plasma, and from 546 ± 8 to 292 ± 29 μmol/L (-/+) and from 560 ± 11 to 431 ± 20 μmol/L (+/-) for whole blood]. Urinary total taurine excretions during the 5th week were 54 μmol/d for the (-/+) group and 135 μmol/d for the (+/-) group (pooled SEM, ± 13). Fecal total taurine excretions during the 5th week were 184 and 53 μmol/ d for the (-/+) and (+/-) groups, respectively, (pooled SEM ± 9). Most of the fecal taurine was unconjugated (free). Fecal bile acid excretions during the 5th week were 235 ± 18 and 106 ± 11 μmol/d for the (-/+) and (+/-) groups, respectively. Dietary antibiotics suppressed fecal cholyltaurine hydrolase activity of cats. Fecal cholyltaurine hydrolase activities during the 5th week were 279 ± 54 and 42 ± 10 nmol cholic acid released · min-1 · g dry feces-1 in the (-/+) and (+/-) groups, respectively. After the crossover, mean values for the groups were reversed, showing that the observed changes were due to the antibiotic treatment. These results support the hypothesis that the dietary taurine requirement of cats is largely determined by the extent of microbial degradation of taurine in the gastrointestinal tract.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996



  • Antibiotics
  • Bile acid
  • Cats
  • Cholyltaurine hydrolase
  • Taurine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this