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Understanding nutrition, and the avian endocrine system, Part 2

Spreads for web Parrots 278 4

The Holistic Parrot by Leslie Moran

Before we delve into how hormones can influence behaviours and the specific nutritional needs of the endocrine system let’s refer back to this column in last month’s (October) issue when the avian endocrine system was covered in detail. We explained the three types of hormones and their functions, lipid-derived, amino acid-derived and peptide-derived. The importance of avoiding endocrine disrupting chemicals was introduced and we identified and detailed high fat and simple carbohydrate problematic foods.

In the “Encyclopedia of Animal Behaviour”, the author explains that this relationship is bidirectional, meaning that hormones can affect behaviour, and behaviour can feedback to influence hormone concentrations. Hormones are chemical messengers released from endocrine glands that influence the nervous system to regulate the physiology and behaviour of individuals with hormones also changing gene expression and the way cells can function.

Estrogens also act in several regions of the brain to regulate a variety of behaviours and nervous system functions unrelated to mating. These include including mood, awareness and understanding, pain, seizures, sensorimotor integration (task specific physical movements) and energy balance.

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