Scientific refutation of traditional Chinese medicine claims about turtles

Meiling HONG, Haitao SHI, Lirong FU, Shiping GONG, Jonathan J. FONG, James F. PARHAM

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Chinese turtle trade is the primary threat to endangered turtle populations throughout Asia, primarily because of the long tradition of consuming turtles in China. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote nutritional and medicinal benefits from eating turtles, especially those made from hardshell species. We tested these claims by determining the nutritional value of turtle products (meat, fat and shell) in five species of geoemydid turtle, Cuora trifasciata , C. mouhotii , Mauremys mutica , M. sinensis and Geoemyda spengleri . Nutritional variables such as the composition of amino acids, fatty acids and mineral elements were analyzed to determine the relative nutritional quality of turtle products. Our study refutes TCM claims about products made from hardshell turtles. Alternative animal products should be substituted to obtain similar minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Balancing the cultural use of turtles with their conservation status remains a major challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-187
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Herpetology
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

turtles
medicine
nutritive value
minerals
fatty acids
animal products
amino acid composition
meat products
ingestion
amino acids
China
lipids

Cite this

HONG, Meiling ; SHI, Haitao ; FU, Lirong ; GONG, Shiping ; FONG, Jonathan J. ; PARHAM, James F. / Scientific refutation of traditional Chinese medicine claims about turtles. In: Applied Herpetology. 2008 ; Vol. 5, No. 2. pp. 173-187.
@article{fab8c395974143dab972ff795f28abc1,
title = "Scientific refutation of traditional Chinese medicine claims about turtles",
abstract = "The Chinese turtle trade is the primary threat to endangered turtle populations throughout Asia, primarily because of the long tradition of consuming turtles in China. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote nutritional and medicinal benefits from eating turtles, especially those made from hardshell species. We tested these claims by determining the nutritional value of turtle products (meat, fat and shell) in five species of geoemydid turtle, Cuora trifasciata , C. mouhotii , Mauremys mutica , M. sinensis and Geoemyda spengleri . Nutritional variables such as the composition of amino acids, fatty acids and mineral elements were analyzed to determine the relative nutritional quality of turtle products. Our study refutes TCM claims about products made from hardshell turtles. Alternative animal products should be substituted to obtain similar minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Balancing the cultural use of turtles with their conservation status remains a major challenge.",
author = "Meiling HONG and Haitao SHI and Lirong FU and Shiping GONG and FONG, {Jonathan J.} and PARHAM, {James F.}",
year = "2008",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1163/157075408784648835",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "173--187",
journal = "Applied Herpetology",
issn = "1570-7539",
publisher = "Brill",
number = "2",

}

Scientific refutation of traditional Chinese medicine claims about turtles. / HONG, Meiling; SHI, Haitao; FU, Lirong; GONG, Shiping; FONG, Jonathan J.; PARHAM, James F.

In: Applied Herpetology, Vol. 5, No. 2, 01.03.2008, p. 173-187.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scientific refutation of traditional Chinese medicine claims about turtles

AU - HONG, Meiling

AU - SHI, Haitao

AU - FU, Lirong

AU - GONG, Shiping

AU - FONG, Jonathan J.

AU - PARHAM, James F.

PY - 2008/3/1

Y1 - 2008/3/1

N2 - The Chinese turtle trade is the primary threat to endangered turtle populations throughout Asia, primarily because of the long tradition of consuming turtles in China. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote nutritional and medicinal benefits from eating turtles, especially those made from hardshell species. We tested these claims by determining the nutritional value of turtle products (meat, fat and shell) in five species of geoemydid turtle, Cuora trifasciata , C. mouhotii , Mauremys mutica , M. sinensis and Geoemyda spengleri . Nutritional variables such as the composition of amino acids, fatty acids and mineral elements were analyzed to determine the relative nutritional quality of turtle products. Our study refutes TCM claims about products made from hardshell turtles. Alternative animal products should be substituted to obtain similar minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Balancing the cultural use of turtles with their conservation status remains a major challenge.

AB - The Chinese turtle trade is the primary threat to endangered turtle populations throughout Asia, primarily because of the long tradition of consuming turtles in China. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) promote nutritional and medicinal benefits from eating turtles, especially those made from hardshell species. We tested these claims by determining the nutritional value of turtle products (meat, fat and shell) in five species of geoemydid turtle, Cuora trifasciata , C. mouhotii , Mauremys mutica , M. sinensis and Geoemyda spengleri . Nutritional variables such as the composition of amino acids, fatty acids and mineral elements were analyzed to determine the relative nutritional quality of turtle products. Our study refutes TCM claims about products made from hardshell turtles. Alternative animal products should be substituted to obtain similar minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Balancing the cultural use of turtles with their conservation status remains a major challenge.

UR - http://commons.ln.edu.hk/sw_master/5262

U2 - 10.1163/157075408784648835

DO - 10.1163/157075408784648835

M3 - Journal Article (refereed)

VL - 5

SP - 173

EP - 187

JO - Applied Herpetology

JF - Applied Herpetology

SN - 1570-7539

IS - 2

ER -