Dietary beet pulp decreases taurine status in dogs fed low protein diet

Kwang Suk Ko, Andrea J. Fascetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: It is known that large dogs who are fed lamb and rice diets are at increased risk to develop taurine-deficiency-induced dilated cardiomyopathy. Since dogs obligatorily conjugate bile acids (BA) with taurine, we determined whether rice bran (RB) or other fibers (cellulose; CL, beet pulp; BP) would affect BA excretion and/or the taurine status of dogs. Results: Eighteen medium/large mixed-breed dogs were given purified diets containing CL, BP, or RB for 12 weeks. Taurine concentrations in plasma and whole blood were significantly decreased at week 12. The BP group, compared to the CL or RB groups, showed significantly lower taurine concentrations in plasma (6.5 ± 0.5 vs 20.4 ± 3.9 and 13.1 ± 2.0 μmol/L, respectively, P < 0.01, mean ± SEM) and in whole blood (79 ± 10 vs 143 ± 14 and 127 ± 14 μmol/L, respectively, P < 0.01), lower apparent protein digestibility (81.9 ± 0.6 vs 88.8 ± 0.6 and 88.1 ± 1.2 %, respectively, P < 0.01), and higher BA excretions (5.6 ± 0.1 vs 3.4 ± 0.5 and 3.4 ± 0.4 μmol/g feces, respectively, P < 0.05) at week 12. Conclusions: These results do not support the hypothesis that RB is likely to be a primary cause of lamb meal and rice diets, increasing the risk of taurine deficiency in large dogs. However these indicate that BP may contribute to a decrease taurine status in dogs by increasing excretion of fecal BA and decreasing protein digestibility, thus decreasing the bioavailability of sulfur amino acids, the precursors of taurine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
JournalJournal of Animal Science and Technology
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research was supported by, the Center for Companion Animal Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis; Margery Reibold Sommer Memorial Endowment, Department of Molecular Biosciences, University of California Davis and Purina TestDiet®/LabDiet®, Richmond, IN. The authors thank to Dr Quinton Roger who provided fundermental ideas and guidance for the research, the staffs of Covance Research Product Inc. (Kalamazoo, MI) for their technical work in collecting the samples and Zengshou Yu at the Department of Molecular Biosciences at UC Davis (Davis, CA) for taurine and amino acid analyses.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).


  • Bile acid excretion
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Dogs
  • Fiber
  • Taurine deficiency


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