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The influence of parenterally administered alpha-tocopheryl acetate to sows on the vitamin e status of the sows and suckling piglets and piglets after weaning

Pehrson, B.; Holmgren, N.; Trafikowska, U.

Journal of Veterinary Medicine. a Physiology Pathology Clinical Medicine 48(9): 569-575

2001


ISSN/ISBN: 0931-184X
PMID: 11765814
DOI: 10.1046/j.1439-0442.2001.00390.x
Accession: 047666617

The main aim of the study was to test if parenteral administration of alpha-tocopheryl acetate twice before farrowing and weaning could increase the vitamin E status of the newborn piglets and piglets after weaning. In Trial I eight sows were given 1.5 g alpha-tocopheryl acetate intramuscularly 7 and 2 days before farrowing. Eight sows were untreated controls. The experimental sows had a higher vitamin E concentration in colostrum than the controls. No significant difference between the groups existed in milk at weaning. The serum vitamin E concentration in the experimental piglets 2 and 5 days after farrowing was higher than in the controls. Fifteen days after farrowing the difference between the groups had nearly disappeared. The serum vitamin E concentration in the piglets in the control group was higher during the first days after farrowing than later, and was gradually reduced until at least 2 weeks after weaning. In Trial II, eight sows were given 1.5 g of alpha-tocopheryl acetate 7 and 2 days before weaning of their piglets. They had higher vitamin E concentrations in milk and serum than untreated control sows at weaning. The increase did not, however, influence the serum vitamin E concentration of the piglets. The lowest concentration of vitamin E in serum of the piglets was reached at 45 days after farrowing. The activity of the selenium-dependent enzyme glutathione peroxidase in the serum of piglets was very low during the first week of life in both groups despite the fact that the sows' feed had been supplemented with 0.35 mg selenium/kg. This indicates that the selenium status of newborn piglets might be more critical for their health than their vitamin E status.

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