Do gorillas need protein

Western Lowland Gorilla Diet: Energy from the Colon

As the study found, the gorillas native to Central Africa have over 200 different plants, including over 100 different types of fruit, on their diet. 31 of the most frequently consumed plants were examined for their nutrient and fiber content. The determined average nutrient content (per 100 g dry weight) was approx. 0.5 g fat, 12 g protein, 8 g digestible carbohydrates and 74 g fiber. Assuming that this nutrient composition can be transferred to the entire gorilla diet, it was found that 3% of food energy is obtained from dietary fat, 24% from proteins and 16% from digestible carbohydrates. The missing 57% of the energy is supplied to the organism via short-chain fatty acids, which come from the fermentation of the consumed fiber. Gorillas are therefore able to gain energy from the indigestible dietary fiber, with fermentation in the colon playing a prominent role. The scientists of the study suspect that the phenomenon of energy production from dietary fiber can also be transferred to humans, provided that they also receive food that is characterized by a very low fat content with a very high fiber content at the same time. In addition, due to its nutrient ratio and the high fiber content, such a diet would be desirable as a healthy diet for humans as well.