Determining the Mechanism of Immune Enhancing Effects of Vitamin E in Young Calves
University of Idaho Seed Grant
Decreasing calf morbidity and mortality are imperative to improving productivity and profitability of the cattle industry. Increased rates of calf mortality have been linked to low status of vitamin E and vitamin E has been shown to have immune enhancing effects, thus supplementation of vitamin E to young calves is likely to reduce morbidity rates and improve calf health. Thirty two calves will be utilized in a 45 day trial in which calves will receive no supplemental vitamin E, 150 IU/d of vitamin E supplemented in the milk, injection of 1,200 IU of vitamin E at birth, or both injection at birth and supplementation in the milk. The objective of this project is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms by which vitamin E improves immunity. The proposed research will increase our understanding of the effects that vitamin E has on the immune system of young calves and the serve as the foundation on which future studies may be built to define vitamin E recommendations for young calves.