- About Our Diet
About Our Diet
The main protein source we use is solely insect-based, for a number of reasons. Firstly, plant-based protein sources often lack certain essential amino acids while animal (or insect) derived protein are complete [2,5]. Geckos haven’t particularly been observed seeking out vegetative matter in the wild, so why feed it to them in captivity? Other protein sources such as egg or whey also come with a burden. To give a bit of background, biotin is a vitamin (specifically a coenzyme) that is required for cell growth, the synthesis of fatty acids, and to metabolize proteins and fats . It is found ubiquitously in small amounts in most sources of nutrition. Eggs contain a large amount of avidin, a protein that binds biotin and blocks the body from using it. Pasteurization has been suggested as a method to inactivate avidin, though most people don’t know that there are two commercial processes of pasteurization:
- Heating the egg, though this causes the other proteins in an egg to denature, vastly changing the texture and consistency.
- Treating the egg with ozone (O3, which produces free radicals) or another oxidative gas under pressure. The reactive gas is then forced out by an inert gas.
Now that we’ve covered protein, let’s talk a little about fat. Not all fat is bad! The analysis for total or crude fat done for animal feed does not distinguish between good fats and bad fats. Overall, insect protein is high in polyunsaturated fat (think omega 3 fatty acids) and quite low in saturated fat. Fat is required for growth and health and most insectivorous geckos require a larger amount of fat than we may think. Typical staple insects even fed to geckos in captivity contain a broad range of fat content, though most are considerably high. [5,6]
We kept the amount of fiber low, as high fiber often occurs in vegetation. Although geckos don’t eat vegetation or grain, they do eat fruit, which does contain some dietary fiber, albeit not as much . The fruits included in our diet are wild-harvested from renewable resources, and each plot of land that they come from has, at minimum, a three-year history of no pesticide or prohibited substance application. The carrots, beets, and hibiscus flowers come from premium “all-natural” suppliers. Our ingredients are selected with care, non-GMO, and are human-grade.
Our belief is that “frugivorous gecko” is a misnomer. We let nature do what nature does right, and use only whole ingredients which provide the broadest spectrum of vitamin and mineral diversity and complete nutrition. Our diet is designed to offer just that. With the delicious flavor of tropical mangos, bananas and strawberries, guavas and papaya, and the unparalleled nutritional composition of insect protein, it’s hard for any gecko to resist!
Why we include what we do:
Insect protein powder – Only the best source of protein for an insectivore!
Dried honey powder – rich in flavor, and also antimicrobial properties
Brown rice flour – a thickening agent that also provides minerals and a nutritional value, many other foods use cheap, empty fillers. We do not.
Mango, banana, guava, papaya, strawberry – high in natural carotenoids, flavonoids. Did we mention that they also taste great?
Spirulina – Often called a “superfood”, it’s high in tyrosine, an amino acid used for a ton of important biological functions!
Carrot – a great source of beta-carotene
Dried hibiscus flower – rich in anthocyanins and a natural ‘preservative’, if you can call it that based on how fresh it is!
Beet root – Rich in vitamin A and other important vitamins, also a source of pigment
Calcium citrate - More easily digested than calcium carbonate
Multivitamin - We use a leading multivitamin specially formulated for reptiles and amphibians. The particular brand has 30+ years of experience!
2. ^ a b Young VR, Pellett PL (1994). "Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition" (PDF). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 59 (5 Suppl): 1203S–1212S. PMID 8172124.