Production of Previtamin D3 by a Mercury Arc Lamp and a Hybrid Incandescent/Mercury Arc Lamp
Most vertebrates including reptiles and amphibians need a source of ultraviolet B radiation in order to promote an adequate production of vitamin D to satisfy their body’s requirement (1). Reptiles routinely sun themselves, not only to warm their bodies, but also to produce vitamin D3 in their skin. Amphibians exposed to sunlight also have the ability to produce vitamin D3 in their skin (1). It is estimated that there are over ten million households in the United States that have a reptile or amphibian as a pet. Often these animals are housed in a glass enclosure, and are exposed to incandescent lighting. Since incandescent lighting does not emit any ultraviolet B radiation, these animals depend solely on their diet for their vitamin D requirement. Frequently, diets including vegetable matter or live or dead animals do not contain an adequate amount of vitamin D to satisfy their requirements resulting in these animals developing severe vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets and osteomalacia that can lead to fractures, muscle weakness and ultimately, death. Many zoos also house reptiles and amphibians indoors, in glass enclosures and often experience vitamin D deficiency in these prized animals. The appreciation that these animals require a source of ultraviolet B radiation has prompted the lamp manufactures and distributors to produce florescent lamps that emit ultraviolet B radiation that is similar to lamps used in tanning salons.
KeywordsHigh Performance Liquid Chromatography Mercury Phytoplankton Rickets Osteomalacia
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Holick, MF. Phylogenetic and evolutionary aspects of vitamin D from phytoplankton to humans. In: P.K.T. Pang and M.P. Schreibman, (eds), Vertebrate Endocrinology: Fundamentals and Biomedical Implications, Vol. 3. Academic Press, Inc. (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich) Orlando, pp. 7–34, 1989.Google Scholar