different minerals and other nutrients have interactions between them
that affect their availability or absorption in the body---for example,
between copper and zinc, calcium and vitamin D, iron and manganese.
One of the most
important, and often overlooked, of these interactions is between calcium
phosphorus. A saying in animal science, (who are a not-very-poetic bunch
and and pathetically easy to amuse), is "as goes phosphorus, so
What this means is that for every gram of phosphorus ingested in the
diet, the body must match that with another gram of calcium before the
phosphorus can be absorbed through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.
required calcium is not available from the diet, the body will obtain
it from wherever it can---such as from the storage depots in the bones.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that in any iguana
performing stressful exercise (as well as remodeling bone in response
to conditioning), you do NOT want calcium being removed from and decreasing
bone integrity. This is where the whole idea of calcium-phosphorus ratios
comes in. The purpose of
calculating such a ratio is to make sure that for every gram of phosphorus
you're feeding, you're feeding AT LEAST an equal amount of calcium (a
1:1 ratio or better), so that calcium isn't being continually mobilized
from bones. Most nutritionists recommend that the ideal levels are somewhere
between 1.2-2 parts calcium to 1 part phosphorus.
would be very easy to have an inverted calcium-phosphorus ratio (less
calcium being ingested than phosphorus). Over the lifetime of an iguana,
this may contribute to a decrease in bone density, as well as may decrease
availability for muscular contraction during exercise. The result being
metabolic bone disease (MBD).
This was originally taken off of an equestrian
site but explains the same principal as pertains to an iguana. I
replaced only the words horse with iguana and took out what would only
be suitable for the iguana enthusiast.
This is where the Ca:P ratio is so important in the growth chart of
an ig who has not yet reached full length. The 2:1 ratio needs to be
kept as close as possible in this range. The original author states
that at least an equal match of one to the other. This is not sufficient
for the growing ig who's bones are growing and lengthening at a tremendous
rate ...especially in their first year. They need the broader ratio
order to grow at the proper density needed to keep them healthy and