D3 vs UV claims

nino

Member
Original Poster
This website states, "Research suggests that Beardies may not utilize much or any of the D3 they ingest (as given in a vitamin supplement), only that made by the UVB-skin interaction."
My question is this: Where can I read this research?
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
This website states, "Research suggests that Beardies may not utilize much or any of the D3 they ingest (as given in a vitamin supplement), only that made by the UVB-skin interaction."
My question is this: Where can I read this research?
Where do you see that?

To directly answer your question though, I'm not sure there have been any explicit scientific studies on how much D3 actually gets absorbed from supplements in bearded dragons, but we can extrapolate based off of human studies (and studies on other creatures).

For instance, this study on D3 levels in the blood using multiple different types of supplements:
With really the only important part of that for this discussion being:
AUC analysis confirmed that the least bioavailable delivery system was micellized vitamin D3

The most common form of D3 supplementation for dragons is most likely going to be micellized D3. The most common brand name supplement (repcal) doesn't even list what form of D3 it's using, but its a safe assumption since it's a powder that this is the case.

There are also studies that show D3 synthesis is much more efficient when done through the skin via UV exposure, and that the body has natural pathways to prevent an over production of D3 when D3 is introduced to the body this way. The body does not have that luxury for supplements.

In reality, the amount of D3 in most powdered calcium supplements is so low, that even if a dragon could absorb the D3 extremely efficiently (no waste) it likely still would not be enough D3 for the body alone. UV exposure would still be necessary.

So remember, the supplements for our reptiles most likely uses the least bioavailable form of D3 possible, and it's already in such a small quantity, you aren't going to be able to fulfil the bodies D3 needs from supplementation.

So while the statement in your original post hasn't been verified specifically with bearded dragons, it's a safe assumption given what we know about bioavailability of D3 and tests on humans/animals. It also lines up with decades of first hand experience from bearded dragon owners around the world (that being that MBD sets in eventually when housed without proper lighting).

-Brandon
 

nino

Member
Original Poster
Where do you see that?

To directly answer your question though, I'm not sure there have been any explicit scientific studies on how much D3 actually gets absorbed from supplements in bearded dragons, but we can extrapolate based off of human studies (and studies on other creatures).

For instance, this study on D3 levels in the blood using multiple different types of supplements:
With really the only important part of that for this discussion being:


The most common form of D3 supplementation for dragons is most likely going to be micellized D3. The most common brand name supplement (repcal) doesn't even list what form of D3 it's using, but its a safe assumption since it's a powder that this is the case.

There are also studies that show D3 synthesis is much more efficient when done through the skin via UV exposure, and that the body has natural pathways to prevent an over production of D3 when D3 is introduced to the body this way. The body does not have that luxury for supplements.

In reality, the amount of D3 in most powdered calcium supplements is so low, that even if a dragon could absorb the D3 extremely efficiently (no waste) it likely still would not be enough D3 for the body alone. UV exposure would still be necessary.

So remember, the supplements for our reptiles most likely uses the least bioavailable form of D3 possible, and it's already in such a small quantity, you aren't going to be able to fulfil the bodies D3 needs from supplementation.

So while the statement in your original post hasn't been verified specifically with bearded dragons, it's a safe assumption given what we know about bioavailability of D3 and tests on humans/animals. It also lines up with decades of first hand experience from bearded dragon owners around the world (that being that MBD sets in eventually when housed without proper lighting).

-Brandon

Apologies to all for my original post's description of the location/source of my quoted question, which is actually from Beautiful Dragon's diet page. However, that page is strongly recommended by your website's page: Bearded Dragons - Care Sheet | General Care | Bearded Dragon .org

Thank you, Brandon, for your very understandable description and a URL to a research paper on this matter, which I will read assiduously.
-Nino
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Apologies to all for my original post's description of the location/source of my quoted question, which is actually from Beautiful Dragon's diet page. However, that page is strongly recommended by your website's page: Bearded Dragons - Care Sheet | General Care | Bearded Dragon .org

Thank you, Brandon, for your very understandable description and a URL to a research paper on this matter, which I will read assiduously.
-Nino

Ok, that makes more sense. I couldn't remember seeing that specifically here.

Beautiful dragons diet page is a great resource, but it unfortunately hasn't been updated in many many years, and I doubt it's going to be updated. Nothing has really come along to replace it that compares, so it gets used pretty often as a good source for food choices, even if some of the recommendations on there are old/outdated.

-Brandon
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
From what I've read and people I talk to there seems to be a lot of varying opinions on the benefit of supplemental D3 in humans and this is the first I've read of that opinion for studies on animals. I didn't read the beautiful dragons website write up but I will. Some Dr.'s + naturopaths vary quite a bit on what they think is a low level [ and what effects it might have ] as opposed to what they believe is too much and what effects that might have. I will still use calcium both with as well as without D3, it's been the way for a long time and if there's a study showing that it's not necessary for sun loving lizards that live mostly indoors I'd be interested in reading it.
 
Last edited:

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
I think understanding of their needs have come a long way. As far as d3, i do use it, but i try to proactively get my brood out into the real sun as much as possible. I think mother nature knows best :) (I know you know this, you have kept them far longer than i have.) My only point is no matter what we do, there is no real substitute for real sun.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
Is there any benefit of liquid calcium vs powder calcium or vica versa. I find it much easier to get mine to take liquid than powder
 

AHBD

BD.org Sicko
I don't know, I've never used it though. I think it's sometimes prescribed for beardies that are very thin, have MBD and won't eat or are suffering from suspected deficiency.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
I kindda assume calcium is calcium, but two of my guys will spit dugs out if they realize they have the powder. (It's hard enought to get my girlfriend to let me feed dubias let alone when she sees one partially chewed up spit out lol) She has worked in the apartment industry for 30 years and has been trying to get rid of roaches for for whole carrer lol.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
The main difference between D3 your body naturally produces, and D3 in supplemental form, is your body will only make as much D3 as it needs when exposed to UV. The chemical pathways shut down once enough D3 is circulating in the body, making it impossible to become hypervitaminosis D.

With D3 in supplemental form, your body will attempt to absorb all it can. D being a fat soluble vitamin means it can potentially build up to toxic levels if over supplemented, and the body can suffer from hypervitaminosis D when taken in this form.

That being said.... The amount of D3 in our dragons supplements is much too low (and much too low on the bioavailability scale) to ever need to worry about that. Your dragon would suffer from an overdose on calcium many times over before any ill effects of too much D3 from the supplement occurred.

That also being said... I only use calcium with D3. It's what I've always used. I've never jumped back and fourth between with and without. If i'm dusting with calcium, it contains D3.

How much it helps? I'm not sure. I'm not going to set up an experiment where one dragon gets good lights and no supplements and the other gets no lights but D3 supplements.. unethical IMO and not necessary. But, the D3 in the supplement doesn't hurt, so it stays.

-Brandon
 

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