Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Diet predisposes black rhinos to insulin resistance.
Diet predisposes black rhinos to insulin resistance. A new study shows that captive black rhinos – but not their wild counterparts – are at high risk for two common health problems suffered by millions of humans which are inflammation and insulin resistance. The finding suggests captive black rhinos have metabolic problems. In humans, these same conditions can both result from a rich diet and sedentary lifestyle and contribute to obesity and other diseases. The African black rhinoceroses living in captivity are known to be at higher risk for a number of unusual diseases that include anemia, degraded muscle tissue, skin ulcers, liver disease, iron overload and low phosphate in the blood. Low phosphate in the blood is common to most of the health problems observed in captive black rhinos and low phosphate has been linked to insulin resistance in humans as well. While some of these conditions can be treated, they often lead to death. In one large study of black rhinos living in North American zoos over a 70-year period, 73 percent of the captive-born animals died before reproducing. more