Effects of d-α-Tocopherol and Dietary Energy on Growth and Health of Pre-Ruminant Dairy Calves

  • Lucas A. Krueger (Iowa State University)
  • Donald C. Beitz (Iowa State University)
  • Ken Onda (Iowa State University)
  • Mohammed Osman (Iowa State University)
  • Mathew R. O'Neil (Iowa State University)
  • Samantha Lei (Iowa State University)
  • Robert Stuart (Stuart Products, Inc.)
  • Howard D. Tyler (Iowa State University)
  • Brian J. Nonnecke (United States Department of Agriculture)


Newborn Holstein bull calves were fed milk to support low or moderate growth and were supplemented with a complement of vitamins A, D, and E. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of dietary energy and vitamin supplementation on inflammation at the whole-body level. Calves were assigned randomly to one of four treatment groups (low growth, not vitamin supplemented; low growth, vitamin supplemented; moderate growth, not vitamin supplemented; moderate growth, vitamin supplemented) for five weeks. Vitamin supplementation tended to improve average daily gain in moderate-growth calves and significantly increased concentrations of retinol, 25-(OH)-vitamin D, and α-tocopherol in plasma in supplemented groups. Moderate growth calves exhibited lower concentrations of α-tocopherol in plasma and higher concentrations of serum haptoglobin, which is a protein associated with chronic inflammation. All calves exhibited elevated concentrations of the more acute indicator of inflammation, serum amyloid A, during weeks 1-3. These results indicate potential roles for vitamins A, D, and E in moderation of pro-inflammatory responses early in life.

Keywords: Animal Science

How to Cite:

Krueger, L. A., Beitz, D. C., Onda, K., Osman, M., O'Neil, M. R., Lei, S., Stuart, R., Tyler, H. D. & Nonnecke, B. J., (2014) “Effects of d-α-Tocopherol and Dietary Energy on Growth and Health of Pre-Ruminant Dairy Calves”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 11(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/ans_air-180814-1382

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Published on
01 Jan 2014
Peer Reviewed