Peripartum serum vitamin E, retinol, and beta-carotene in dairy cattle and their associations with disease.J Dairy Sci. 2004 Mar; 87(3):609-19.JD
Peripartum decreases in serum concentrations of vitamins A and E may contribute to impaired immune function in dairy cows. The objectives of this study were to describe peripartum serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and retinol and their associations with disease risk. On 20 farms over 1 yr, blood samples were collected weekly from 1057 cows from 1 wk before expected calving until 1 wk postpartum. Serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and retinol, as well as several biochemical variables were measured. Their associations with the risk of retained placenta or clinical mastitis were modeled separately with logistic regression, and the factors associated with the concentration of each vitamin were modelled with mixed linear regression. Differences in vitamin concentrations between 2 batches of sera analyzed 6 mo apart required stratification of statistical analyses. Accounting for the effects of parity, season, and twins, an increase in alpha-tocopherol of 1 microg/mL in the last week prepartum reduced the risk of retained placenta by 20%, whereas serum nonesterified fatty acid concentration > or = 0.5 mEq/L tended to increase risk of retained placenta by 80%. In the last week prepartum, a 100 ng/mL increase in serum retinol was associated with a 60% decrease in the risk of early lactation clinical mastitis. There were significant positive associations of peripartum serum concentrations among each of alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and retinol.