Vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation: meeting lighting needs for captive animals

Citation

Bernard JB. 1997. Vitamin D and ultraviolet radiation: meeting lighting needs for captive animals. In Nutrition Advisory Group Handbook Fact Sheet  002

Abstract

Most animals meet their vitamin D needs through diet or exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, rickets and osteomalacia, classic consequences of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, are problems in a number of captive species, including certain basking reptiles and nursing primates, when little or no access is provided to natural sunlight.1,2,4 Vitamin D deficiency may occur even when diets contain 2,000-3,000 IU vitamin D3/kg, an amount which appears to meet the needs of most other species. Intakes of vitamin D3 may be insufficient or some species may be unable to utilize dietary vitamin D, and exposure to UV radiation may be a necessity. Artificial light is commonly used to promote the health of animals housed indoors. Aside from general illumination and photoperiodic effects, a potential benefit of providing artificial light is the promotion of vitamin D synthesis. However, to be effective and safe, the lamps used must emit radiant energy of appropriate UV wavelengths and intensity.

NAG FS002 97 Vit D-JONI FEB 24, 2002 MODIFiED.pdf     75 KB

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