Why does the Panda eat bamboo?
The Chinese panda, with its air of a large stuffed animal, is part of the bear family, and therefore, like its cousins, has the genome of a carnivore: yet the greater panda is known for its exclusive consumption of bamboo. According to the researchers, it does not have any enzymes known to digestcellulose, A major ingredient in bamboo.
So how does he do it?
The answer must lie in itsintestinal flora, in other words, its microbiota, as well as in his lifestyle. It could also be related to his tastes, indeed, the discomfort that receives the information of flavors umami, so important in Japan,is inactive at home, and it is this flavor, translated into French by"Delicious" which makes meat so attractive. This is a fifth flavor: the taste of protein. The Japanese have made it their home cooking, and find it mainly in seaweed (combo and bonito), the basis of their dishes. (Namely: Asian people are provided with special enzymes to digest the algae of which we Caucasians are, for the most part, lacking. But that's another subject). Let's come back to our Panda and its particularly slow pace of life: so slow that it involves very little energy expenditure, and that is whyhis body can concentrate on digesting this famous cellulose. Which is very practical for this big sloth: bamboo is an abundant plant in its natural environment! Don't get me wrong, if he is so lazy, it is for his survival: the panda is suffering fromhypothyroidism: Its rate is that of a hibernating bear. In humans, a decrease in the production of hormones by the thyroid gland leads to fatigue, chilliness, overweight andsometimes a feeling of depressed.
Despite over 2,000,000 years on this exclusive bamboo diet, the Panda hasn't gotten used to it yet, so let's digest it for a long time, this is the best compromise for its survival!