Message Number: YG11341 | New FHL Archives Search
From: dr_bruce_williams
Date: 2002-02-21 21:09:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Chromium/Confusion

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "team-machine" <team-machine@e...>

> PROS and CONS:
> b.. The need for steriods and other insulin blockers
is reduced.
> c.. Prednisone irritates the adrenal glands and other
organs. By using this mixture and cutting back on the use of Pred you
are reducing the risk of adrenal problems. This mixture is especially
helpful in cases where adrenal problems are present and corrective
surgery is not an option or has already been done and further
surgeries are not desired.

> b.. Pred has the ability to retard the growth and
production of insulinomas in the pancreas. By eliminating it from the
ferret's health program, we may be allowing the insulinomas to
continue to grow unchecked although lower doses of Pred may still be
used concurrently with this regimen.

I have some trouble with these statements and the characterization of
prednisone, which is extremely important in controlling the
hypoglycemia with insulinoma. While we all know that surgery is
still the best method to treat insulinoma, there are many, many
animals for whom surgery is not an option and require prednisone to
control their hypoglycemia.

Prednisone is used in insulinoma to raise glucose and to increase the
production of glucose in the liver. It does not block insulin at
all - it simply counteracts the hypoglycemic actions of insulin with
its own hyperglycemic action.

I believe the characterization of prednisone as an irritant to
multiple organs is unfair at best. In ferrets, especially those with
adrenal disease, the use of prednisone does not appear to have any
adverse effects, as it has no effects on estrogen producing cells.
As we have already discussed today, ferrets are a realtively steroid
resistant species, which is of benefit in light of the vast numbers
of animals on it chronically for IBD, EE, insulinoma, and a number of
other conditions. I do not believe that you can legitimately claim
that this particular formulation will reduce the risk of adrenal

Finally, I do not believe there is any evidence that prednisone
retards the development of insulinomas or additional insulinomas.
Currently, we have little knowledge as to what actually causes the
development of insulinoma. to date, surgery is the only definitive
treatment for insulinoma, although some work with Doxorubricin in a
small clinical study in the NE U.S. is showing some promise when used

While I believe that this particular diet is probably not harmful, I
would be hesitant to endorse its claims of a diminished risk of
adrenal disease, and would likely attribute its benefits to the large
amount of carbohydrate which it provides, rather than any actions of
chromium or brewer's yeast (which are highly unpredictable at best).

With kindest regards,

Bruce Williams, dVM