Article| Volume 79, ISSUE 5, P838-845, May 1996

Blood Selenium, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and β-Carotene Concentrations and Udder Health, Fertility Treatments, and Fertility

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      We investigated the activity of glutathione peroxidase in whole blood; concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin A, and β-carotene in serum; SCC; udder bacterial infections and the incidence of clinical mastitis; fertility treatments; and the success of first AI of 511 dairy cows for 1 yr. The mean Se content in whole blood and the concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin A, and β-carotene concentrations in serum were 191 μg/L, 5.9 mg/L, 0.39 mg/L, and 12.9 mg/L, respectively. An increase in Se concentration in whole blood was associated with a decrease in all infections, including infections by Staphylococcus aureus, Actinomyces pyogenes, and Corynebacterium spp. (–17.7, –31.7, and –70.6%, respectively). There was no association among the different infections or SCC and concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin A, or β-carotene, but an association existed between vitamin A concentration and SCC. The lower Se concentration in whole blood did not increase incidence of clinical mastitis. The Se concentration in whole blood (200 μg/L) was accepted as a target value to optimize udder health. The incidence of fertility disorders (anestrus, subestrus, cystic ovaries, or delayed ovulation) was 34.4%. The pregnancy rate following first insemination was 48.6%. No significant association was observed among Se in whole blood; concentrations of total vitamin E, vitamin A, or β-carotene in serum; and fertility disorders or success of first AI.

      Key words

      Abbreviation key:

      APC (Actinomyces pyogenes or Corynebacterium spp.), API (infected by any pathogen), AS (anestrus or subestrus), CMT (California mastitis test), CNS (coagulase-negative staphylococci), GSHpx (glutathione perioxidase), ODCO (ovulatory disorder or cystic ovaries), SFAI (success of first AI)


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