Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vitamin E

There are 8 forms of vitamin E found in plants. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which is used by the body to prevent chemicals in the body from damaging cells. Vitamin E deficiencies can lead to muscular dystrophy and other disorders.

Symptoms of a Deficiency: Birds with a vitamin E deficiency will lack vigor, develop problems that are associated with the nervous system, and develop blood and vasular disorders, anemia, and muscular disorders.

Symptoms of Toxicity: Vitamin E acts as an antagonist to vitamin A, destroying its antioxidant effects.

Found: Vitamin E is found in whole grains, some cereals, and fresh, green leafy vegetables such as spinach. It can be found in safflower oil, canned peaches, dried prunes, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, brussel sprouts, and whole-grain breads. Feeding too much cod liver oil (to make up for vitamin D3 deficiencies) will lead to deficiencies because it will oxidize the vitamin E in the bird's system.

Reference: "The Healthy Bird Cookbook" by Robin Deutsch