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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305112


Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Title: Effects of D-a-tocopherol and dietary energy on growth and health of preruminant dairy calves

item KRUEGER, LUCAS - Iowa State University
item BEITZ, DONALD - Iowa State University
item ONDA, KEN - Iowa State University
item OSMAN, MOHAMMED - Iowa State University
item O'NEILL, MATT - Iowa State University
item LEI, SAMANTHA - Iowa State University
item WATTOO, F - Iowa State University
item STUART, ROBERT - Stuart Products Incorporated
item TYLER, HOWARD - Iowa State University
item Nonnecke, Brian

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/17/2014
Publication Date: 5/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Krueger, L.A., Beitz, D.C., Onda, K., Osman, M., O'Neill, M., Lei, S., Wattoo, F.H., Stuart, R.L., Tyler, H.D., Nonnecke, B.J. 2014. Effects of D-a-tocopherol and dietary energy on growth and health of preruminant dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science. 97(6):3715-3727.

Interpretive Summary: The effects of d-a-tocopherol and dietary energy on growth and health of dairy calves. Krueger. D-a-tocopherol is a highly bioavailable form of dietary vitamin E. D-a-tocopherol was supplemented to pre-ruminant Holstein calves fed all-milk diets of varying energy intake. Supplementation with d-a-tocopherol improved plasma a-tocopherol status. Supplementation also prevented acute inflammation as monitored by acute phase proteins serum amyloid A and haptoglobin and tended to increase growth in calves fed for normal growth rates. The results of the study indicate a role for a-tocopherol in prevention of pro-inflammatory stimuli associated with accelerated growth and onset of infectious disease.

Technical Abstract: To observe the effects of supplemental dietary d-a-tocopherol in relation to dietary energy on growth and immune status in dairy calves, 32 newborn Holstein bull calves were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments for 5 weeks in a 2x2 factorial randomized complete block, split-plot design. Calves received moderate growth (MG) or low growth (LG) all-milk dietary treatments, formulated to support daily gains of 0.5 kg/d or 0.25 kg/d, respectively, per the dietary energy recommendation for milk-fed calves according to the National Research Council’s Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle. Calves in these 2 groups were either injected intramuscularly with Vital E-A+D® (injectable solution of vitamins E, A, and D) on d 1 and supplemented with Emcelle Tocopherol® (micellized vitamin E) orally via milk daily (S), or were not supplemented (C) during the study period. Total weight gain of MG calves was greater than that of LG calves and tended to be greater in MG-S calves than in MG-C calves. Calves receiving vitamin supplementation demonstrated greater concentrations of plasma a-tocopherol, retinol, and 25-(OH)-vitamin D than did C calves, whereas MG calves demonstrated lower concentration of plasma a-tocopherol than did LG calves. The apparent utilization of a-tocopherol by MG calves was accompanied by a rise in serum haptoglobin, an acute phase protein and indicator of inflammation, especially in MG-C calves. Serum amyoloid A, also an acute phase protein, was not different among groups, but was elevated from baseline in all groups during weeks 1 through 3. Plasma IgG1 concentrations were higher in MG-S and LG-S calves than in their non-supplemented dietary counterparts, whereas plasma IgG2, IgA, and IgM concentrations were not different among groups.