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[RC] What the Abstracts Say...and Don't Say (was: Beet Pulp) Part 1 - katswig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

For the sake of brevity, I have removed the title, author and assorted
other reference information provided by Tom Ivers and am including only the
abstracts about beet pulp studies for a discussion of interpreting what
they say, and more importantly highlighting what they DON'T say. (Although
the information may be contained in the full papers. I don't know because I
haven't read them; after all, Tom told me that all an intelligent person
needs to do is read the first and last lines of the abstract to understand
any scientific paper, so yes, part of my point here is to demonstrate just
how absurd that notion is).

The first abstract:

In a cross-over study with six mature horses, the effect
of iso-energetic replacement of dietary glucose by beet
pulp on macronutrient digestibility, nitrogen metabolism
and mineral absorption was studied. The test ration contained
25% beet pulp in the total dietary dry matter. Beet pulp feeding
significantly lowered crude fat and non-structural carbohydrate
digestibility, but had no significant effect on digestibility of
other macronutrients, faecal and urinary nitrogen excretion and
the faecal to urinary nitrogen excretion quotient. However, on
the beet pulp diet, plasma ammonia and creatinin concentrations
were significantly lower than on the glucose diet. No diet effect
on magnesium absorption was observed. It is suggested that dietary
beet pulp stimulates the conversion of ammonia into urea.

What is says they did:

Using six adult horses they changed their diets to replace 25% of the dry
matter with an amout of beet pulp so that the amount of simple sugar
(dietary glucose) in the ration would be the same.

What it doesn't say:

It doesn't say what was taken OUT of the diet to make room for the beet
pulp. It doesn't say how this feed change was effected, nor does it say
what the rest of the diet was.  As a consequence any measured effects could
have been a result of, among other things, a) ANY feed change or b) what
was taken out rather than what was added.

It doesn't say what other nutrients in the diet were affected by the change
to beet pulp.

It also doesn't say what, if any, exercise these horses were doing. 
Consequently, one should be careful in extrapolating any findings to horses
that have a different work program, since work definitely has an effect on
how feed is digested and metabolized.

What is says they observed:

The change in diet had a measurable effect on how much fat and
non-structural carbohydrates (in which sugar and startch are included) was

The change in diet had no measurable effect on other macronutrients (like,
maybe, protein), no measurable effect on nitrogen, and no measurable effect
on magnesium (take note of this, it is relevant).

The change in diet appeared to have some effect on how protein (since
amonia and creatinin are aspects of protein metabolism) is metabolized
(although not whether it is digested, since digestion is but a small part
of metabolization) and/or made available.  It also speculates (that is what
"it is suggested..." translates to) that this effect has something to do
with how amonia is metabolized as a waste product.

What it doesn't say:
It doesn't say anything about any other minerals.


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