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Effect of dietary beta-carotene on the accumulation of beta-carotene and vitamin A in plasma and tissues of gilts

Effect of dietary beta-carotene on the accumulation of beta-carotene and vitamin A in plasma and tissues of gilts

Reproduction, Nutrition, Development 41(1): 47-55

The absorption of beta-carotene in pigs is limited. Nevertheless beta-carotene might positively affect reproduction. In this study the absorption and tissue distribution of beta-carotene as well as its function as precursor of vitamin A was investigated in gilts that were fed according to one of three dietary treatments: VA (4000 IU vitamin A), VA + VA (4000 IU + 8300 IU) and VA + BC (4000 IU + 100 mg beta-carotene per kg diet) for 14 weeks. Only in the VA + BC group was beta-carotene detected in plasma (1-8 ng x mL(-1)), liver, adrenals and corpora lutea, indicating that pigs absorb intact beta-carotene at low rates. Liver levels of vitamin A were higher (P < 0.01) at comparable levels in the VA + VA and VA + BC group than in the VA group, indicating a conversion rate of beta-carotene to vitamin A of 40 to 1 on the basis of weight for beta-carotene at this level (100 mg x kg(-1)) in the diet. Higher levels of vitamin A in the uterus of the VA + BC group (P < 0.01) as well as the accumulation of beta-carotene in adrenals and corpora lutea might reflect some influence of beta-carotene on local vitamin A metabolism which might be of importance for reproductive performance in gilts.

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Accession: 010520922

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PMID: 11368244

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