Nutrients 2013, 5(7), 2811-2835; doi:10.3390/nu5072811
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Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis

1 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada 2 Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, College of Biological Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 April 2013; in revised form: 18 June 2013 / Accepted: 21 June 2013 / Published: 19 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Folate Metabolism and Nutrition)
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Abstract: Research in various species has indicated that diets deficient in labile methyl groups (methionine, choline, betaine, folate) produce fatty liver and links to steatosis and metabolic syndrome, but also provides evidence of the importance of labile methyl group balance to maintain normal liver function. Cats, being obligate carnivores, rely on nutrients in animal tissues and have, due to evolutionary pressure, developed several physiological and metabolic adaptations, including a number of peculiarities in protein and fat metabolism. This has led to specific and unique nutritional requirements. Adult cats require more dietary protein than omnivorous species, maintain a consistently high rate of protein oxidation and gluconeogenesis and are unable to adapt to reduced protein intake. Furthermore, cats have a higher requirement for essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Hastened use coupled with an inability to conserve certain amino acids, including methionine, cysteine, taurine and arginine, necessitates a higher dietary intake for cats compared to most other species. Cats also seemingly require higher amounts of several B-vitamins compared to other species and are predisposed to depletion during prolonged inappetance. This carnivorous uniqueness makes cats more susceptible to hepatic lipidosis.
Keywords: B-vitamins; carnivore; essential amino acids; essential fatty acids; fatty liver; feline; metabolism; methyl donor; nutrition; protein

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MDPI and ACS Style

Verbrugghe, A.; Bakovic, M. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis. Nutrients 2013, 5, 2811-2835.

AMA Style

Verbrugghe A, Bakovic M. Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis. Nutrients. 2013; 5(7):2811-2835.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Verbrugghe, Adronie; Bakovic, Marica. 2013. "Peculiarities of One-Carbon Metabolism in the Strict Carnivorous Cat and the Role in Feline Hepatic Lipidosis." Nutrients 5, no. 7: 2811-2835.

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