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 Viestin otsikko: No corn for the mousies
ViestiLähetetty: 06.09.2009 4:11 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Long ago I figured out that corn is carcinogenic, causing cancer, for mice. Anyone else know anything about this? Another breeder in the US told me that corn combines with mousie stomach acid to form a carcinogen. Since I stopped including any products with corn in any form, I have no incidence of tumors in my female mice whatsoever.

Any comments, please.

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 Viestin otsikko:
ViestiLähetetty: 06.09.2009 10:50 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
Viestit: 14266
Kuvat: 77
Paikkakunta: Vantaa
Yes, some scientific reference needed. "Told by another breeder" is not quite enough... Your own experience may not necessarily be because of corn, but other factors can be at play that are well known to increase the risk of tumours in mice: some preservatives and colouring agents. Your line of mice may also be less prone to develop tumours (than it was before) for genetic reasons.

The idea is interesting, I'm not denying that, but it needs to be backed up by some sort of scientific data.

A quick search doesn't return any hits matching what you say, however, there are several studies of different mycotoxins and how they cause tumours and other health problems, they also mention maize in this context. But it's not just maize or some quality of that crop per se, but fungal infection caused by e.g. poor storaging can cause mycotoxins to develop in several common grains and products.

Not exactly scientific but puts it in a nutshell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aflatoxin & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycotoxin

Aflatoxin in maize

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 Viestin otsikko: Corn and mice
ViestiLähetetty: 06.09.2009 20:43 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Yes, and for the same reason I only allow food grade peanuts and sunflower nuts in their diet. Whether it's the food itself or fungal contaminants that cause the problem is had to say, although I did increase the amount of food grade peanuts and sunflowers over the winter, and had two incidences of tumors in a couple of my does. Dietary fat might be to blame there. There is also the problem with residues of agricultural chemicals, which often convert to substances that are estrogenic.

I guess you would consider my experiences statistically insignificant. At first I noticed that my mousies mostly didn't eat the corn in their food mix, so I stopped including it. Then I noticed the decrease in mammary tumors, so I started using a more expensive, corn-free puppie food as a dietary supplement, replacing the cat food that my cats ate. I;ve maintained a large number of animals over the last twelve years (100+ mousies at any given time) so I consider my experiences to be very significant.

Someone proposed that I do a double blind study, but I just can't see risking any meeces health like that. I have thought of a test comparing organically grown and chemically treated corn, but, again I don't want to risk the health of my darlings.

I will try to find a reference for you, but I had already made up my mind before I had it affirmed by anyone else. Afalatoxin is more likely to cause general illness and malaise than cancer, I thought. Mycoplasma, is of course, a common problem for rodents, more likely aggravated by dirty cages and water bottles, as it is the sort of thing that lives in the environment and affects animals weakened by the poor sanitation first, animals which then become disease vectors by allowing the microorganisms to multiply to the point where others animals are likely to be affected. It's somewhat similar to the problem of staphyloccus aureus infections, as we all carry staph on our persons, and which erupts infectiously as opportunity arises.

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 Viestin otsikko: Re: Corn and mice
ViestiLähetetty: 06.09.2009 22:43 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
Viestit: 14266
Kuvat: 77
Paikkakunta: Vantaa
moustress kirjoitti:
I guess you would consider my experiences statistically insignificant. At first I noticed that my mousies mostly didn't eat the corn in their food mix, so I stopped including it. Then I noticed the decrease in mammary tumors, so I started using a more expensive, corn-free puppie food as a dietary supplement, replacing the cat food that my cats ate. I;ve maintained a large number of animals over the last twelve years (100+ mousies at any given time) so I consider my experiences to be very significant.


The length of your experience or number of animals is not the point.

I've had a large number of animals over the last twelve years (100-200+ mice at most times) as well, and I would NOT expect anyone "just to believe me" in a matter like this based just on that experience.

And I'm not trying to turn you around. I don't consider your opinion insignificant, but I'm not swallowing it as "the truth" before seeing some hard data to back it up, or hearing from other long-line breeders with the same kind of experience. I know breeders with even (much) longer experience, and the same applies to them - I wouldn't automatically consider everything they say as "the truth".

"Animal testing" with diets that one even suspects are not healthy is of course not something one wants to do, or should. But there's no harm done for my animals if I try excluding maize with a group of animals at some point, as it can be replaced with other crops. It can't be done "just like that" though, one has to make sure that no other changes take place for the results to be of any significance.

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 Viestin otsikko: Okay
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 0:25 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Yes, I understand completely. It is not a proven fact in a scientific sense. All I know is what I see, and I was firm in my opinion, like I said, before I had any agreement or support from anybody.

Corn, however, has a dark history, with more recent developments indicting it for being a causative factor in the development of obesity and diabetes in the form of corn based sweeteners. In North America, corn has been discovered to have been a causative factor in the downfall of ancient civilizations, both as a dietary substance, and as a monoculture agriculture that is more likely to have crop failures due to insects and crop disease. More and more, it looks like corn, while darn tasty, just isn't a healthy food for people or animals of any kind.

As far as my mice are concerned, they don't come from any special stock. The few I got from others breeders contributed very little, and the rest came from your average pet store. I feel confident in advising others who raise mice to avoid anything with corn or corn fractions when composing a diet for their animals. There was no other change in diet at the time I stopped feeding corn. One does not need scientific proof for such a thing; you see it, you change, it works. No more cancer, period. It would please me greatly to see any other breeder or pet owner reducing cancer in their animals.

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 Viestin otsikko:
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 0:49 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
Viestit: 14266
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Paikkakunta: Vantaa
Well one can make a major difference by replacing feeds that are too fatty, contain colouring agents and/or harmful preservatives with a healthier diet - with or without corn. That has been noted to reduce the risk of tumours by several breeders, and there is scientific data to back it up.

Selective breeding also makes a major difference.

Of course it would be great if one could eliminate tumours simply by removing corn from the diet. I just don't believe it to be quite that simple. One interesting point is that many standard diets that laboratories use include corn. Now, if corn was known to induce tumours in mice, wouldn't that seriously undermine their test results?

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 Viestin otsikko: Yes, it is curious
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 1:14 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Most lab mice are not being raised for longevity, but for the fact that they develop quickly and therefore are available for pathological observation in a short period of time.

I fed my mousies lab blocks for a year or so, and I had more sickness than any other period in which I have kept mice. It is not uncommon for a mousie to live to near or beyond two years in my care. I

I feed my mousies a diet that is mostly composed of whole oats and wheat, which I drive 50 mi. to a feed mill to get in 50 lb. bags. I also have had only one case of incisors growing long enough to need clipping. The whole wheat is very hard, in addition to being high in vitamins and iron. I add about 5% other seeds or grains, a different type just about every day, and also supplement the diet with a premium, corn-free kitten or puppy chow. The pet kibble adds extra protein and calcium as well as vitamins and minerals. Breeding mousies get kibble overy day, the other two or three times a week.

Of course, I give them other things at irregular intervals. The mousies get all excited when they smell me breaking up a slice of stale bread. or breaking up some dried banana or other dried fruit. I've noticed that my mousies really love getting something unexpected in their nightly feeding.

I think that love of novelty is a trait that humans and mousies share, which is one of the reason why we find them so endearing and fascinating.

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 Viestin otsikko:
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 12:11 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
Viestit: 14266
Kuvat: 77
Paikkakunta: Vantaa
Yes I know lab blocks aren't necessarily ideal food.

My point is though, that laboratories often test whether some substances have carsinogenic effects. If part of their feed was known to cause tumours, this kind of research would be pointless.

The normal life span of pet mice is 1-2 years, some living beyond that. So yours aren't exceptionally long living, healthy they are of course reaching that age and shows there's nothing wrong with your diet. It doesn't prove corn to be harmful, though, because exactly the same can be achieved with a diet including some corn.

Are tooth problems common with mice in US? Because I've never encountered one, and I have to think really hard to remember whether I've ever even heard about one.

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ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 18:31 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
My view of that is that the results of studies of carcinogens done on mice are invalid BECAUSE they don't give a corn free diet.

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 Viestin otsikko:
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 18:49 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
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Maybe you should try to tell them that and see what the scientist have to say about it? :hammas:

I would be really surprised if labs had failed to study the effects of each nutrient before deciding on their standard diets.

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 Viestin otsikko: Misplaced faith
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 22:27 
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Liittynyt: 25.08.2009 0:13
Viestit: 82
Paikkakunta: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
You faith in science is weird.

Before you were born there was Big Science about air born pollutants that led to the push for people to switch from gasoline powered conveyances to diesel powered machines. The idea was to reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide, as it was assumed that those were behind the rise of respiratory ailments in large cities where there were hundreds of thousand of vehicles on any day. Now, no one would argue that those two gases aren't harmful, but much later, like in the last ten years, new studies found out the main culprit behind the rise of asthma and other cardiopulmonary ailments was not those gases but soot, which is produced largely by the burning of diesel. Oops. It turns out that soot particles from diesel are so small that they end up deposited permanently in one's lungs.

(Yeah, yeah, I can hear your response....where's the proof, cite me some references. Well, I have worked hard to keep up with reading in the general area of ALL the sciences, and I know a fair bit about quite a lot of areas in the fields of science, so...you can blow it off and ignore it if you want to...)

Science does not always get the right answer. It's a tool, and as such is useful, but science always yields answers that are only as good as question and the input. Assumptions are made, and those assumptions are not always correct. More and more, I think of science facts more as factoids; things that have the look and the feel of facts, but might not in fact be true.

You should look at what is coming out in the field of physics and mathematics; some of that stuff has literally changed the way science looks at the hard facts that were established for explaining the way the whole cosmos is put together and how it works. We live in a world that is literally scarred by the application of faulty science; just look at the trouble everywhere over 'racism'. We still use that word, even though the whole theory of race has been debunked completely. The word race is a null concept, yet people allow the language to rule their intereactions with the rest of the the human race. Human Race: Only One. Any other usage is wrong. We can talk about racial differences when we actually meet another race of sentient beings.

Way off topic, but it had to be said. Not sorry.

(I'm studying now how to escape the heat death at the end of the universe.)

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 Viestin otsikko:
ViestiLähetetty: 07.09.2009 22:36 
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Liittynyt: 15.04.2004 1:00
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Actually I have no blind faith in science and I keep myself up-to-date by reading several science news sources. But that is beside the point. I'm only looking at the topic from several points of view, and that was one of them.

And my point is: You obviously have great faith in what you're saying. But without proper validation it's just your opinion, and as far as everyone else is concerned, you may well be the one spreading misinformation. And there's nothing personal in that. The results you've seen in your mousery may be because of multiple other factors. Similar results have been seen in other mouseries with other diets (including corn).

I have nothing more to say about this matter unless something new comes up so I'll shut up and leave the floor for others to comment.

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