Spinach - it is not as bad as you may think.

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GBtortoises

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I completely agree with Kristina. I have been feeding all of my tortoises of all ages spinach since day one as part of a varied diet. It's true, spinach is "high" in oxalic acid, but then so are most leafy greens along with most root vegetables and their leaves and in many cases the actual vegetable or fruit.
There seems to be a huge "concern" lately about feeding tortoises foods that contain oxalic acid because it is reported to bind with calcium and render that calcium unusable. The fact is that so far there is no research that shows what, if any effect oxalic acid may actually have on tortoises. There is also no known toxicity saturation level in relation to how much is too much oxalic acid intake for a tortoise. Most studes done with human saturation levels basically state that you'd have to consume unusually high volumes of vegetables high in oxalic acids in a short time to have much if any negative effects. That's really all we have to go on.

I'm not advocating a lack of concern or prudent caution. I'm just saying that spinach and other greens and vegetables may very well be getting an unnecessary bad rap. I believe spinach and the others should be fed to tortoises as part of a varied, quality diet. Almost all of them have many very beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Just a brief list of some greens containing oxalic acid:

HIGH OXALIC ACID CONTENT:
Lambsquarters, beet leaves, purslane leaves, spinach, swiss chard (leaves & stalks), rhubarb, parsley, amaranth leaves, sorrel.

LOW OXALIC ACID CONTENT:
Dandelion greens, most fruits, kale, watercress, escarole, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, cabbage, and most greens not mentioned.
 

Kristina

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AnthonyC said:
So Kristina, if it has no negative effects on torts (if fed in moderation) does it have any positive effects? Is it high in a particular vitamin that our torts need? Naturally I'm being greedy here b/c when I say "torts" I'm referring to Sulcatas b/c that's what I have. :D:D
\

Yes, absolutely. If you look at the first post, I listed several of the positive nutritional aspects of spinach, along with some of the needed vitamins that it contains.

(I have Sulcatas as well ;) )



GBtortoises said:
The fact is that so far there is no research that shows what, if any effect oxalic acid may actually have on tortoises. There is also no known toxicity saturation level in relation to how much is too much oxalic acid intake for a tortoise. Most studes done with human saturation levels basically state that you'd have to consume unusually high volumes of vegetables high in oxalic acids in a short time to have much if any negative effects. That's really all we have to go on.

You hit the nail on the head here. The issue is that we are basing nutritional information on what we feed our tortoises on studies done for humans. Tortoises are not humans. We metabolize and absorb things very differently than tortoises do.
 

evlinLoutries

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Kristina said:
No, if fed in moderation, it will not have any negative impacts.

I would not feed it daily, however. Moderation means you have to mix things up. I feed something different every day. Once a week or every two weeks is fine, however. It takes me about two weeks to cycle through all the greens that the grocery store near me carries.

To better explain what I mean by cycling through food items and feeding in moderation, please refer to the article I wrote on "balanced diets." http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ises-The-Balanced-Diet-Revealed#axzz1d8ly7Q7I This isn't a care sheet aimed at one particular species, but rather a guideline on HOW to feed the foods that you buy, what foods are good choices, what to avoid and how much of each "group" of food to offer.

So if I just gave my torts spinach only, every day, it still have no negative impact?

I'm still curious to this kind of thing, cause many ppl will not suggest spinach as food for tort..
 

Tom

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I think any single thing fed exclusively everyday will eventually do harm. No single food meets all of their needs. It could be argued that some of the manufactured pellets MIGHT satisfy all their needs, but even that is very debatable.

I have no scientific proof, but I think if someone were to feed all spinach every day and nothing else, MBD would eventually show up along with other health problems too.
 

Madkins007

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evlinLoutries said:
Kristina said:
No, if fed in moderation, it will not have any negative impacts.

I would not feed it daily, however. Moderation means you have to mix things up. I feed something different every day. Once a week or every two weeks is fine, however. It takes me about two weeks to cycle through all the greens that the grocery store near me carries.

To better explain what I mean by cycling through food items and feeding in moderation, please refer to the article I wrote on "balanced diets." http://www.tortoiseforum.org/Thread...ises-The-Balanced-Diet-Revealed#axzz1d8ly7Q7I This isn't a care sheet aimed at one particular species, but rather a guideline on HOW to feed the foods that you buy, what foods are good choices, what to avoid and how much of each "group" of food to offer.

So if I just gave my torts spinach only, every day, it still have no negative impact?

I'm still curious to this kind of thing, cause many ppl will not suggest spinach as food for tort..

Of COURSE it will have a negative impact. Feeding ANY single food item everyday will limit the nutrients that the tortoises need to grow healthy- that is why we offer a variety of everything.

Are you asking if the level of oxylic acid will eventually have an impact? Some people have reported that their tortoises got bladder stones, and they blamed it on spinach. However, Mader's "Reptile Medicine and Surgery" states that there is no one known cause for bladder stones and that dehydration is the likely trigger. (Oxalates and oxylic acids are not even listed in the index of the book!)

Also- don't forget that tortoises of many species are reliably reported eating plants in the wild that are so loaded with oxalates that they are listed as toxic to humans.
 

evlinLoutries

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Madkins007 said:
Of COURSE it will have a negative impact. Feeding ANY single food item everyday will limit the nutrients that the tortoises need to grow healthy- that is why we offer a variety of everything.

Are you asking if the level of oxylic acid will eventually have an impact? Some people have reported that their tortoises got bladder stones, and they blamed it on spinach. However, Mader's "Reptile Medicine and Surgery" states that there is no one known cause for bladder stones and that dehydration is the likely trigger. (Oxalates and oxylic acids are not even listed in the index of the book!)

Also- don't forget that tortoises of many species are reliably reported eating plants in the wild that are so loaded with oxalates that they are listed as toxic to humans.

Every day I gave my tort the same menu, I change sometimes like once a week or 2..

But I still gave them moderation food, :)

Yup, that's my point on my question, oxylic acid..

I agree that bladder stone triggered by dehydration and (too) dry and hot enclosure..


Maybe sometimes I'll try to give it to my tort as a side menu once a month, cause spinach is easy to find,,:D
 

Madkins007

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I've never been there, but I would imagine that in Indonesia, you would have access to a wider variety of fresher, better foods for your torts than many of us here in the cold parts of the US have. I'm a bit jealous!
 

evlinLoutries

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Madkins007 said:
I've never been there, but I would imagine that in Indonesia, you would have access to a wider variety of fresher, better foods for your torts than many of us here in the cold parts of the US have. I'm a bit jealous!

yeah, we had a lot of fresh veggies here over the year..:)

u can go here as a holidays trip maybe..:)

I do jealous to, cause aldabra price was cheaper there than here..:(

and life in US looks like wealth and calm, I want to move there someday..:D

with all my :tort:
 

Kristina

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evlinLoutries said:
Kristina said:
No, if fed in moderation, it will not have any negative impacts.

I would not feed it daily, however. Moderation means you have to mix things up.

So if I just gave my torts spinach only, every day, it still have no negative impact?

You absolutely cannot feed one thing only, every day. Even if it was something other than spinach, it would still have a negative impact. I very clearly stated that it had to be fed in moderation and mixed in with other things.
 

evlinLoutries

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Kristina said:
You absolutely cannot feed one thing only, every day. Even if it was something other than spinach, it would still have a negative impact. I very clearly stated that it had to be fed in moderation and mixed in with other things.

I gave them the same moderation food every single day, but the main food always siomak or fumak, and then I will mix it with opuntia, hibiscus flower and leafs, and mulberry leafs..

Sometimes I gave them green mustard..:)

Is it enough Kristina?
 
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