EC permitted colourants

Discuss what your rats eat. From general diet, food brands, eating problems and treat foods.
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Ratty_Rhian
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EC permitted colourants

Post by Ratty_Rhian » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:24 am

EC permitted colourants used in lots of rabbits and guinea pig mueslis can cause guinea pigs to have symptoms of diabetes (sugar in urine, excessive thirst etc.). Does anyone know if this can happen to rats or is it a GP specific problem?
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Giz » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:01 am

That's a good question, because I have seen colorants that are considered harmful to humans in rabbit food too..
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by acapae_wolf » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:03 am

Yep, an awful lot of E numbers that are banned by the EU for use in people food are still allowed in pet food. Dog foods are the worse offenders, but still.

I don't know about the affects on rats, mainly I've assumed as they're much hardier. It annoys me that they don't have to actually list them though.
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Ratty_Rhian » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:19 am

acapae_wolf wrote: I don't know about the affects on rats, mainly I've assumed as they're much hardier.
I kinda guessed that. On guinea pig food it tends to say "EC permitted colourants" like they are safe ingredients. I just wondered because guinea pigs show all the symptoms of diabetes but they are producing enough insulin (don't ask me what the mechanism is for them showing these symptoms if they have enough insulin, I don't know that bit yet :lol: ) so when vets give them extra insulin thinking they are treating for diabetes the guinea pig will often die.

Thought it mighht be interesting to know if rats are prone to this too considering people use rabbit and guinea pig muesli in their mixes.
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Giz » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:39 am

Hmmm.. I wonder if there's any relevance to this...

Guinea pigs, like us, don't manufacture vitamin C. They rely on diet for it. Rats, rabbits and everything else bar primates and bats (and us and guinea pigs of course!) make their own..
In humans, vitamin C plays a role in glucose tolerance factor (although most certainly not alone - vitamins B complex, D3, magnesium and chromium are also required), it's also very active in the detoxification of many things including heavy metals and stuff like homocysteine and histamine..

In this sense (ie, nutritionally) we are more like guinea pigs than rats. This could explain why these chemicals affect guinea pigs so badly..
It's just a theory, from my own head.. As I said, I'm no vet.. But with vitamin C playing such an important role in both blood sugar maintenance and detoxification it may be relevant..
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Ratty_Rhian » Sun Jul 31, 2011 11:42 am

Giz wrote: In humans, vitamin C plays a role in glucose tolerance factor
That could explain it. I never knew that vitamin C had this function too. Will have to do a bit more reading to confirm your theory but it sounds very plausible :D
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Giz » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:31 pm

Well, the nutritional treatment for a blood sugar imbalance is;
•To cut refined sugars from the diet (most pets tend to be fed whole grains don't they? So this shouldn't be so much of a concern - except perhaps for treats, but healthy treats do exist)
• To cut caffiene & nicotine due to their effects on blood sugar (again, unless we are giving them caffeine or letting them smoke, this wouldn't be a concern either)
• To ensure adequate levels of hydration (they have water bottles, and hopefully do drink when they feel the urge and therefore maintain hydration adequately)
• To increase intake of B complex vitamins (primary functions in releasing energy from food & methylation), vitamin C (primary function as an antioxidant and detoxification), magnesium (primary functions; bone strength, muscle relaxation, and anti oxidant) and chromium (balancing blood sugar is this nutrients most important role)
• Vitamin D just keeps showing up over and over again for it's connection to metabolic and chronic disease.. This primarily as vitamin D3 is not technically a vitamin, it is a hormone, and as such controls many factors within the body, not least cellular communication. It has been shown to play a large role in glucose tolerance factor (and seeing as most of the northern hemisphere are deficient it may explain why we have higher levels of many of the diseases associated with it's deficiency, including adult onset diabetes)

This was where I was getting my idea from.. But like I said, whether it applies to other mammals I don't know..
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by tabirat » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:38 pm

•To cut refined sugars from the diet (most pets tend to be fed whole grains don't they? So this shouldn't be so much of a concern - except perhaps for treats, but healthy treats do exist)
Just wanted to note that in terms of effect on blood glucose processed white carbs are considered to be very similar to ingesting 'neat' sugars - so the advice to cut processed refined carbs (eg white bread, white rice, cereals like rice crispies etc) might be relevant to some inclusions in rat diets. :-)
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Re: EC permitted colourants

Post by Neotoma » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:48 pm

I don't feed the rats anything with colourants. I don't know if they are harmful or not, but they are unnecessary given the rats get no benefit, and it's possible to sort a decent rat mix without them.
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