Page 33

FITS_emag

Summer sunshine often comes with warnings, but there is a bright side to basking in the rays. When your bare skin is exposed to sunlight, your body produces vitamin D. Adequate vitamin D levels are critical for healthy bones, as well as for the muscles, heart, lungs, brain and immune system. But what about our pets? We know that sufficient vitamin D levels are critical for skeletal development in growing puppies and kittens. Veterinary research into vitamin D is in its early stages, but the findings suggest it may be just as important for our cats and dogs as it is for us. The ABC's of Vitamin D First identified in the early 1900s, vitamin D got its name because it was the fourth “vital amine” that scientists discovered (shortened later to vitamin). Vitamins are substances the body can’t make on its own, but are necessary for normal function. Later research revealed that vitamin D is actually more like a hormone (which is made by the body) because some species, including humans, can produce it themselves through the use of sunlight. Our furry friends are different. “Dogs and cats are not able to use sunlight or UVB light to produce vitamin D through their skin,” says Dr. Lauren Young, a veterinary nutrition researcher with the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, and recipient of a Morris Animal Foundation grant investigating the role of vitamin D in cancer. “They need to get this essential nutrient from their diet.” fun in the sun issue 31


FITS_emag
To see the actual publication please follow the link above