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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Everyone,

I just received an email from Justin Yeager at Tulane University to let me know that the first of several publications on their study of dietary Carotenoids and their effects on reproduction in PDF's has been published today.

I was lucky enough to be contacted by Justin when the project started about using our Calcium Plus for their studies and I have excitedly supplied them over the last few years and been anxious to read the papers.

Some really interesting information for sure. I was particularly surprised to see the results of supplementing the fruit fly media with high carotenoids. I wish I could have got them to use Superfly and SuperPig also, but when this project started, I hadn't finished developing Superfly yet, and they had been making their own media for years that they had great success with... They also used their own blend of carotenoid ingredients for the fly culture (SuperPig was also a relatively new product at the time). (the study started in 2009)

I have uploaded the paper to our website so you guys can view and download it. Interesting stuff indeed. Enjoy!

http://www.store.repashy.com/media/CERDF

Allen
 

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Huh, interesting. Of most interest, I think, is that frogs that did NOT receive carotenoid supplementation laid 1.75X more clutches!

Although tadpole and metamorph output was higher, the number of clutches produced by females was lower under carotenoid supplementation. This decreased clutch production suggests that (i) oogenesis is not limited by carotenoid availability [see also Ogilvy et al., 2012], and (ii) reproductive (vs. tropic) egg production is suppressed when females are caring for tadpoles, as they were more often under the carotenoid supplemented treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Indeed, but it also states that the number of eggs per clutch was significantly higher, and the survival was higher, resulting in increased number of total offspring..... It makes sense the longer time between clutches allows for more transfer of nutrients to eggs......

Definitely not what you would expect.
 

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Interesting analysis. 63 pairs of pumilio is quite a good sample size.

I'd be interested in more info about the frogs. How long they were captive prior to the study--were they fresh off the boat or were they already kept for a period with the baseline media. Did they all have parasites? But I suppose as long as they were from the same import and quarantined uniformally, they constitute a suitable population for a study about ex situ breeding.

I was a little surprised to see tap water on the list of ingredients, given the specific nature of everything else.

Thanks for posting Allen,and I think your supplements and media work great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was asked off board about the Methylparaben levels used in the study compared to what I use in my Superfly product... I didn't realize how high they were until it was pointed out...... I thought I would go ahead and post my reply publicly because I think it might be of interest to most....

Hi XXXXX,

I didn't even notice that but yeah, that is a freaking LOT of methyl paraben.

I use a combination of six ingredients to control mold and bacteria: Calcium propionate, Malic Acid Cinnamon,Potassium citrate, methylparaben, Potassium Sorbate (In that order)

While I don't divulge exact proprietary information, I will say that the methylparaben levels I use would be measured in fractions of a percent.

On a dry matter basis, they appear to have used close to 10% methylparaben in their mix. When I originally started working on the Superfly, 90% of the real development work I did was learning how to control mold and bacteria...... nutritionally, fly media is a no brainer more or less. When you use a single preservative, you get great control over some types of growth and poor control over others..... So you just have to keep adding more until you control the difficult ones also...... often ending in levels that are very high like what you see here.....

My approach was to use different preservatives that each targeted different types of bacteria/mold...... and work in different conditions..... PH plays a huge roll in control also. Different preservatives/organic acids function at different PH levels..... For example, Sorbic Acid works very well at Low PH, but not so well at Neutral PH, where Propionic acid works better... I use Malic Acid and Citric Acid (from Potassium Citrate) to get the PH where I want it to be and keep it there using mineral buffers like the calcium and potassium....

Long story short, by first focusing on PH level and stability (which I think no other media manufacturers do) I first try to create the best environment for the preservatives to "work" in.... then by using different preservatives/organic acids that work on different types of molds and bacterias (for example, some ingredients work well with gram positive bacteria, some better with gram negative... some are better for black mold, and some better for the white fuzzy stuff)..... I can use much lower overall levels of preservatives, while dividing it again by a number of different ingredients to avoid any potential negative effects a single ingredient might contribute.

So even using lower overall levels, the right combination of ingredients can still be more effective then super high levels of a single one. Methylparaben WILL kill it all..... but you can see the kind of levels necessary to do so..... more than three times total level of all the ingredients I use combined.... and it is the most toxic of all the preservatives IMHO.

Allen
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Just as a FYI, to create similar carotenoid levels to those used in the study (it is not apples to apples because I use a much broader spectrum of carotenoid ingredients compared to those in the study) I would estimate that in addition to the superpig levels already in the Superfly, that you would need to mix about nine parts Superfly with one part SuperPig to come up with a "similar" level of carotenoids in the media. This would creat a media higher in overall carotenoids than the study media, but have similar levels of astaxanthin..... I do need to check my math on this though because I am just doing this off the top of my head.

HOLD THAT THOUGHT.... I think I am off quite a bit here..... let me to some more math.. Be back soon.....................




OK, I ran some numbers through my software, and adding 5% (DMB) SuperPig to the Superfly should give us approximately:

Beta Carotene mg/kg 90.0000
Astaxanthan mg/kg 50.0000
Lutein mg/kg 135.0000
Capsanthin 37.5000
Zeaxanthin mg/kg 15.0000
Lycopene mg/kg 10.0000
TOTAL MEASURED CAROTENOIDS 337.5000

A pretty comparable amount to the study..... over on some and under on others but overall, quite a bit higher in total carotenoids.





Allen
 

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Allen,

Thanks for posting the study. I am not surprised by the conclusions. I personally
use Superpig, Calcium Plus and Superfly I also add natural forms of carotenoids to the Superfly, as I am a firm believer that the gutload/media is extremely important and this study confirms that. I am interested in the amount of Superpig needed to replicate the carotenoid amounts used in the study.

Thanks,
Lane, aka, SilverLynx
 

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So this study indicates there is a change within the flies that improved their nutritive value, that can't be addressed by simply increasing the amounts of carotenoids in the dusting supplement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
According to what I am reading, Calcium Plus was used for both groups, so if that was the case, then it is saying exactly that.

Could we duplicate this by dusting with more Superpig.... possibly so... If we mixed Calcium Plus with say 50% Superpig, that would give us a lot more carotenoids..... but it would cut the calcium and vitamins like Retinol, in half... SuperPig is also not what I would consider a micro-fine powder, so to get a good stick, you would need to take the time to grind it down finer....

There is also the issue that it is possible that the larvae are metabolizing the carotenoids into something that can't be provided by direct supplementation.

Like every study I read, I walk away with some good answers, but I always feel like I get more new questions to ask than answers.....

The study does contradict my presumption from other publications that it wasn't valuable to supplement drosophila with carotenoids, so that in it's self is a revelation and the main point to digest from this article IMHO.


Allen
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Superpig contains vitamin E, I thought we were concerned with flies accumulating Vitamin E to levels that would throw off the balance to Vitamins A and D?
SuperPig does NOT contain any added vitamin E. Not sure where you got that from.

Ingredients below.... though I did recently decide to add another ingredient to SuperPig.. Watermelon Extract.... for it's high levels of the carotenoid Lycopene.

SuperPig
Carotenoid Supplement

Our Pigment Enhancement Formula is a Carotenoid Supplement designed to enhance the diet of Reptiles, Fish, Amphibians and Birds.

INFORMATION: Contains a “broad spectrum” of Carotenoids including, but not limited to: Astaxanthin, Capsanthin, Capsorubin, Beta-Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Beta Cryptoxanthin, Zeaxanthin, Neoaxanthin, Cucurbitaxanthin, Violaxanthin, Lutein, Echineone, Canthaxanthin and Lycopene.

INGREDIENTS: Calendula Flower, Pfaffia Yeast, Paprika, Marigold Flower, Algae Meal (Chlorella and Spirulina), RoseHips, Hibiscus Flower, Turmeric.

 

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Good stuff! On a practical level...

Is there enough Super Pig in Calcium Plus? Or should I dust with Super Pig on occasion? How often should I dust my melanogaster for my growing D. auratus? Can it be done too often?
 

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So that means they can utilize carotenoids much better than previously thought by converting to vit. a? or do they contain another function in not being converted?

And I thought anything added to the medium in the form of carotenoids wouldn't be passed on to the frogs? Are they talking about medium fortification or dusting?

Sorry, a little dry and I don't have the time to read thru just brushed the article.
 
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