Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity?

Russell W. Chesney, Gail E. Hedberg, Quinton Rogers, Ellen S. Dierenfeld, Bruce E. Hollis, Andrew Derocher, Magnus Andersen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rickets and fractures have been reported in captive polar bears. Taurine (TAU) is key for the conjugation of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), a bile acid unique to bears. Since TAU-conjugated UDCA optimizes fat and fat-soluble vitamin absorption, we asked if TAU deficiency could cause vitamin D malabsorption and lead to metabolic bone disease in captive polar bears. We measured TAU levels in plasma (P) and whole blood (WB) from captive and free-ranging cubs and adults, and vitamin D 3 and TAU concentrations in milk samples from lactating sows. Plasma and WB TAU levels were significantly higher in cubs vs captive and free-ranging adult bears. Vitamin D in polar bear milk was 649.2±569.2 IU/L, similar to that found in formula. The amount of TAU in polar bear milk is 3166.4±771 nmol/ml, 26-fold higher than in formula. Levels of vitamin D in bear milk and formula as well as in plasma do not indicate classical nutritional vitamin D deficiency. Higher dietary intake of TAU by free-ranging cubs may influence bile acid conjugation and improve vitamin D absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTaurine 7
Pages325-331
Number of pages7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 22 2009

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Volume643
ISSN (Print)0065-2598

Fingerprint

Ursidae
Rickets
Metabolic Bone Diseases
Taurine
Bone
Vitamin D
Milk
Ursodeoxycholic Acid
Bile Acids and Salts
Plasmas
Blood
Fats
Vitamin D Deficiency
Cholecalciferol
Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Chesney, R. W., Hedberg, G. E., Rogers, Q., Dierenfeld, E. S., Hollis, B. E., Derocher, A., & Andersen, M. (2009). Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity? In Taurine 7 (pp. 325-331). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 643). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-75681-3_33

Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity? / Chesney, Russell W.; Hedberg, Gail E.; Rogers, Quinton; Dierenfeld, Ellen S.; Hollis, Bruce E.; Derocher, Andrew; Andersen, Magnus.

Taurine 7. 2009. p. 325-331 (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 643).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Chesney, RW, Hedberg, GE, Rogers, Q, Dierenfeld, ES, Hollis, BE, Derocher, A & Andersen, M 2009, Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity? in Taurine 7. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol. 643, pp. 325-331. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-75681-3_33
Chesney RW, Hedberg GE, Rogers Q, Dierenfeld ES, Hollis BE, Derocher A et al. Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity? In Taurine 7. 2009. p. 325-331. (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-75681-3_33
Chesney, Russell W. ; Hedberg, Gail E. ; Rogers, Quinton ; Dierenfeld, Ellen S. ; Hollis, Bruce E. ; Derocher, Andrew ; Andersen, Magnus. / Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity?. Taurine 7. 2009. pp. 325-331 (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology).
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