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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Rats and Blueberries - Good for Digestive Health

I always peruse the news for stories about rats. Most of the articles that pop up are either irrelevant (sports teams with Rats in their name, Disney's Lab Rats TV show, etc), or they deal with the rat pest population (and don't portray rats in a positive light) or lab rat studies that have little implication for rats themselves.

Every now and then, however, a study with lab rats has some actual relevance to how we care for our pet rats, and this is one of them. Scientists at the University of Maine have discovered that rats fed lowbush wild blueberries for a period of six weeks had increased beneficial bacteria in the gut flora and lower levels of Enterococcus bacteria:

That's not all: an older study showed that blueberries can increase bone density in rats:

So keep those blueberries coming! I like to offer some blueberries with their breakfast. If the rats are slow to try them, cut them in half exposing the juicy innards and they will eventually get the idea.

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