Effect of dietary supplementation with vitamins E and C on production performance, immune responses and antioxidant status of White Leghorn layers under tropical summer conditions.Br Poult Sci. 2008 Sep; 49(5):592-9.BP
1. The effects of vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplementation on performance, some immune variables and antioxidant status of White Leghorn layers (aged 44-56 weeks) exposed to tropical summer conditions were investigated. 2. Both vitamins E and C significantly improved the egg production, food conversion efficiency, antibody responses to inoculated sheep red blood cells (SRBC) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) vaccine, lymphocyte proliferation in response to mitogen and activities of antioxidant enzymes red blood cell catalase (RBCC) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-PX) in layers. Vitamin C increased the inflammatory response to phytohaemagglutinin-P (PHA-P) inoculation. 3. Supplemental vitamin C at 200 mg/kg diet significantly increased eggshell weight, eggshell thickness, and shell breaking strength. However, no effect of supplemental vitamin E on eggshell quality was observed. 4. Vitamins E and C, as well as interactions between them, significantly influenced the activities of glutathione reductase and lipid peroxidase. A combination of vitamin E at 125 IU/kg with vitamin C at 200 mg/kg diet had an additive effect on reducing the activity of oxidative enzyme lipid peroxidase (LP) and increasing the activity of antioxidant enzyme glutathione reductase (GSHR). 5. It is concluded that vitamin E (125 IU/kg) and vitamin C (200 mg/kg) could independently alleviate the effects of heat stress on production performance and immunological variables of layers. However, combination of both the vitamins at the above-mentioned concentrations is beneficial in eliciting higher antioxidant status in laying hens exposed to tropical summer conditions.