Determining the Mechanism of Immune Enhancing Effects of Vitamin E in Young Calves University of Idaho Seed Grant uri icon



  • 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.