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Vitamin D and speciesAre species that do not have access to sunlight to synthetize vitamin D and folic acid at a significant disadvantage for their lifestyle, or have they developed ways of adequately compensating for the lack of sunlight?
...http://www.alpacasnz.co.nz/images/aobacoverarticles.JPGVITAMIN DBy Nic Cooper, Southern Alpacas StudIn the early days of alpacas in New Zealand, the industry saw many cases of carpal valgus (bent or bowed front legs) in alpacas. These ranged from minor to the extreme. The higher concentration appeared to be amongst the darker coloured animals, and it appeared in youngsters, particularly when autumn born, during winter. At Southern Alpacas Stud one of your first cria born, in 1990, developed extreme rickets.The effect was quickly traced, by researchers, to a vitamin D or phosphorous deficiency, and led to a lot of breeders sprinkling di-calcium phosphate on nuts, and adding other such supplements to nut mixes.Research in the mid 1990's (ex USA) then indicated that treatment with vitamin D alone would alleviate the clinical signs, and (ex Australia) that di-calcium phosphate was actually bad for your alpacas. But read on for 2005 information ......Vitamin D (particularly vitamin D3 – chalecalciferol) is necessary to the alpaca to allow it to absorb calcium and phosphorous from the intestinal tract. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, phosphorous is the second most abundant. These minerals are required for proper bone development. Many enzymes and B vitamins are activated only in the presence of Phosphorous.Phosphate is the naturally occurring form of the element phosphorus. Phosphate deficiency is what is measured in the bloods, and we treat with a phosphorus compound.The natural Calcium/Phosphorous ratio in bones and teeth in 2:1, (although 1.5:1 in alpaca is closer to the ideal), and vitamin D is essential for maintaining this balance correctly.Adequate vitamin D levels also minimise the loss of these two minerals through the kidneys (in excreta).Vitamin D3 is produced through synthesis in the alpacas skin, from the action of ultraviolet light (sunlight) on cholesterol derivatives. In New Zealand the lower latitudes, and lower altitudes reduce this production, especially in winter, especially in darker pigmented animals, and especially in animals with denser fleeces. Vitamin D also comes from consumption of sun cured dried foods, such as hay (which has vitamin D2). A lush grass diet in NZ also therefore limits the production of vitamin D in the alpaca. In addition, on lush pastures, high concentrations of carotenes can tie up vitamin D making less available to the body. ... updated November 2005.complete article: http://www.alpacasnz.co.nz/articles-vitamind.htm
Subterranean mammals had to adapt theirbiochemical pathways and cellular VDRs(Vitamin D Receptors) to cope with verylow levels of this hormone:
This would imply that one could create synthetic chemicals that could bind to the same receptors as vitamin D3 does itself, and either enhance or block the effect of the vitamin in that way.It ofcourse also leads to the question as to what is happening downstream of the VDR's?Just idle curiosity.