Message Number: YG4480 | New FHL Archives Search
From: FurTulsa
Date: 2001-06-10 19:24:00 UTC
Subject: [Ferret-Health-list] Re brewers yeast\insulinomas

The other issue is... what about those questions in regards
to Primary Grown Yeast... as is in Nupro?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2001 6:14 PM

Sorry it has taken awhile to answer the questions about
Brewers yeast/chromium and insulinoma treatment. I had
a computer problem, but I am back up and running again.
Seems like there are 3 basic questions: 1) is chromium
good to give to insulinoma ferrets(no), 2) is chromium safe
to give
to healthy ferrets(yes), and 3) can chromium possibly
insulinomas in healthy ferrets(maybe).
I will try to clear up some of the general information
first, then
answer those 3 questions. Brewers yeast is a common
ingredient in
pet foods because it provides some of the B vitamins (esp.
Thiamine B-1)
and chromium. Thiamine is a very important B vitamin that is
by ferrets and most mammals. Chromium is the part that
the confusion.
1) Chromium is NOT a good thing to give an insulinoma ferret
it actually lowers blood glucose levels. Chromium also has
some insulin like
properties. Clearly we do not want to lower an insulinomas
already low
blood glucose level. Nor do we want to give something that
acts like
insulin when there is already to much insulin being produced
by the
insulinoma. Chromium is a good thing to give to diabetic
people and
pets, but diabetes is rare in ferrets.
2) Yes chromium is safe to give to ferrets without
insulinomas. Again
brewers yeast has a lot of the needed B vitamin thiamine.
Chromium does
not cause problems in the healthy ferret.
3) Can chromium prevent insulinomas? This is a good question
that needs
further research. Since chromium helps to lower the post
meal glucose
surge, it may help to prevent stimulation of the pancreas
that occurs
after eating a meal with carbohydrates in it. It is this
overstimulation of
the pancreas after eating carbohydrates (sugary treats,
rice, etc.)
that cause an insulinoma to form. If we had a ferret diet
with a low
carbohydrate level (10%) instead of the 20-30% carbohydrate
that we currently have, If we had a diet with carbohydrates
that produced
lower post meal glucose peaks (sorghum, corn, barley)
instead of
rice that produces the highest post meal glucose peak, If we
had a
diet with enough chromium to lower the post meal glucose
then we might prevent insulinomas from occurring in ferrets.
Again this
is an area that needs further research. Based on what we
know, chromium is a good thing for healthy ferrets, but a
bad thing
for ferrets with an insulinoma.
Hope that clears up the confusion,
Jerry Murray, DVM

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