Amino Acids are the building blocks that form the chief constituents of protein. Twenty essential amino acids make up all the protein in the body. Levels of diet ingredients vary (for example, grain is low in lysine, while legumes are low in methionine.) In addition, monogastrics like monkeys, birds and elephants cannot synthesize amino acids, while ruminants depend on their rumens to produce them...which explains why certain amino acids are essential for monogastrics and not ruminants. MAZURI® diets carefully balance amino acid levels to achieve the optimum balance for each animal. Check out the values on each bag for precise information.
Biotin is a key B Vitamin which was first discovered in the early 1940's, it helps in the utilization of energy from carbohydrates. It is also a key component in utilizing amino acids. While most exotic animals have a low level requirement for biotin, deficiencies are easy to spot--most notably on the skin, in mucous membranes and in nail, foot and hoof health area. Some elephants and horses have responded to biotin supplementation. Commonly found in foods such as yeast, egg yolk, rice and bran, biotin is also produced by the bacteria in rumen. However other exotics--such as birds and primates--benefit greatly from the precise amounts of biotin contained in specialized MAZURI® diets.
Once used to make pennies (now which are mostly zinc) copper is an essential trace mineral in feed programs. In the body, copper is critical in the formation and metabolism of red blood cells and connective tissue formation. Tests on anti-inflammatory drugs have helped further our understanding of this important mineral which may even impact the immune system. Absorbed in the gut, copper combines with key proteins to enhance certain enzyme activity. Very little copper is stored in the body, mandating daily consumption. However copper levels must be accurately balanced since high levels of zinc or fiber can aggravate copper absorption in specific species. Copper deficiencies include anemia, degeneration of the vascular system and fading color. Toxicity is also a potential hazard for sheep and llamas. Extensive research has enable MAZURI® to provide copper in the most efficient way for every species.
Did you know animals need adequate amounts of fat to thrive and survive? Animal fat cells are a dense energy form containing 99% fat as volume. Fat cells contain glycerides of fatty acids that form phospholipids and cholesterol--two major components of cell membranes that maintain the integrity between blood cells and membranes...and in the case of phospholipids also aid in digestion. Fat is also key to the formation of steroid hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, and affects brain function and skin condition.
Where does iodine come from? If you said seaweed and burnt sponges you're not totally wrong. Natural sources of iodine include seafoods, vegetables, and in much lesser degrees, cereal. Iodine is present in T3 and T4 (thyroxine) hormones that are the active principle of the thyroid gland. It affects oxygen consumption, metabolic rates and fatty acids in the body. Deficiencies--most notably goiters--are well documented requirement, iodine can cause severe problems at higher levels. Feeding balanced MAZURI® diets eliminates problems.
Think "M" for MAZURI® and Manganese. Although not often mentioned, this key nutrient is essential to growth and good health. Manganese absorption is limited to 3-4%. Excesses of this mineral accumulate in bones and the kidneys and usually leave the body in bile. Manganese assists in enzyme metabolism in the pituitary gland and helps in bone mineralization. It is also VERY important for growth and development, which is why it is present in MAZURI® gestation diets. Added manganese in our breeder diets helps egg development...and is a major defference between MAZURI® and other feeds.
Think "M" for MAZURI® and Molybdenum. Most people have trouble enunciating this tongue-twisting low-end trace mineral, and have even more trouble defining the important role this nutrient plays in maintaining good health. Simply put, molybdenum has the ability to inhibit copper and iron absorption, which is why we hear about it in relation to sheep diets. In ruminants the presence of high levels of molybdenum can cause a copper deficiency. However in humans and non-ruminants, molybdenum may be deficient, resulting in growth reduction and, in the case of chicks, even death. Sources of molybdenum include grain and legume. Although not all MAZURI® diets have molybdenum added, we watch levels, especially in animals that are sensitive to copper.
How much do you know about Niacin? First discovered in the 1700's, it took until 1937 for scientists to accurately identify the effects of this important B vitamin. Niacin is used in the energy metabolism of fatty acids. Requirements vary by activity level...the higher the energy level, the more niacin is required. Since it is not stored in the body, niacin needs to be added on a regular basis. Niacin deficiencies are classified by 3D's: Dermatitis (skin problems), Diarrhea, and Dementia. Not normally added to rumen diets because of the rumens' ability to produce it in bacteria, it is not toxic and is added to many MAZURI® diets.
Pantothenic Acid--commonly known as B5. First discovered in 1939, this water soluble vitamin is found in all living cells. Key sources include yeast, unprocessed grain, legumes, egg yolk, liver and kidney. The general requirement for humans is 4-7 mg each day, however no RDA has yet been assigned by the National Research Council. Vitamin B5 is safe with few side effects, even in dosages of 10 grams a day. Deficiencies are rare but can occur as evidenced by fatigue and vomiting. So why do we continue to add it to MAZURI® diets? Because it is essential for synthesis of cholesterol and in growth hormones, and because it is not stored in the body. Fortunately all animals are covered when they feed on a diet of MAZURI®--the balanced choice for optimum animal nutrition.
Every child who's ever eaten breakfast cereal has rolled his tongue around the familiar r-r-r-riboflavin listing. That's because this essential vitamin B complex--also called Vitamin B2--is so important to growth and good health. First discovered in 1933, Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs both free (as in milk) and in combination (as in liver.) Riboflavin is key in the utilization of energy from carbohydrates and fats and is absorbed in the upper half of the small intestine. It's low toxicity level makes B2 a safe nutritional supplement. MAZURI® diets all feature added Riboflavin at the precise level required by species...even in diets for hoof stock since they do not always have a properly functioning rumen.
Selenium, a trace mineral with antioxidant and anticancer properties. Selenium activates an enzyme in the body--gluthathione peroxidase--that protects against the formation of free radicals which can damage DNA. An essential element since 1957, selenium levels are high in red blood cells and affect areas including the liver, spleen and tooth enamel. Unfortunately, too much of a good thing may be, well, too much. Like copper, the window between optimum dose levels and toxicity is very narrow. Selenium deficiencies include growth reduction, poor heart development, cardiomyopathy and cataracts. Although commonly found in grains, fish, seafood and Brazil nuts, almost all diets have added selenium. It is one of the few trace minerals regulated by the FDA. Studies prove that selenium and vitamin E facilitate each other's absorption work in concert for maximum benefit...a fact taken into consideration in the development of all quality MAZURI® diets.
If you haven't heard about vitamin B6 lately, you're definitely behind the times. This powerful little number is involved in over 100 reactions in the body, primarily in the area of metabolism. Not surprisingly, as protein levels go up, so does the requirement for B6 to process it. Sources of B6 include liver, whole grains and legumes. While ruminants manufacture B6 in the rumen, it is added to most MAZURI® diets to keep animal metabolism on an even keel. While we do not run into a lot of deficiencies, it can be a problem if animals are fed high protein diets, so keep it in mind.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble, cobalt-containing compound that is essential to normal function and growth in all animals. It is frequently listed in the ingredients on tags as cyanocobalamin. While all monogastric species require a daily amount of B12, it is not always required by ruminants. The bacteria in the rumen produce vitamin B12 directly using digested elements. However All MAZURI® diets include B12--even for ruminants--because ruminants in captivity may not have full functioning rumens.
Just a reminder that vitamin C, a major attribute of our new MAZURI Primate Diets, is equally important for guinea pigs and fish. All products originally used ascorbic acid for vitamin C, however now we've coated vitamin C to provide excellent stability for improved shelf life. Our extruded products use polyphosphate vitamin C to keep the vitamin C level in the product constant and to lengthen shelf life to 6-9 months--which is of vital importance to customers.
Zinc is a mineral which must be provided on a regular basis. Most zinc is absorbed in the small intestines where it performs many functions. Zinc is key to healthy reproduction in males and females. It also affects growth rate and the development of long bones, the immune system, the central nervous system, and regulation of Vitamin A in the blood. Many natural forms of zinc are not available and in tropical sources of forage, zinc is often difficult for animals to reach. For optimum health, ruminants typically require 10-20 ppm of zinc. Birds require 50-70 ppm. Mild cases of zinc deficiency are difficult to identify, however loss of appetite is one sign. To avoid these problems and promote excellent reproduction, be sure you are aware of the varying zinc requirements for species and the benefit of providing the precise amount with MAZURI® diets.