Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Model developed for manipulating vitamin D levels in calves

Date:
May 25, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
A new model for manipulating vitamin D levels in young calves has been developed. Scientists say it could help establish just how much of this important nutrient the young animals need to promote optimal growth and health.

ARS scientists are finding that dairy calves may need more vitamin D, especially to support their immune system.
Credit: Peggy Greb

A new model for manipulating vitamin D levels in young calves has been developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists who say it could help establish just how much of this important nutrient the young animals need to promote optimal growth and health.

Newborn dairy calves get crucial vitamin D in the colostrum from their mothers as they nurse during the first few days after birth. Later, the neonatal calf often receives vitamin D in commercial milk replacers. But levels of vitamin D in these supplements may need to be reevaluated, given recent evidence suggesting vitamin D status influences not only bone growth, but also immune function.

ARS microbiologist Brian Nonnecke and others at the ARS National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, are examining the effects of vitamin D on the calf's immune system -- especially relevant given the animal's susceptibility to infectious respiratory and intestinal diseases during its first weeks of life.

Nonnecke and his colleagues Tim Reinhardt and Ray Waters used the neonatal dairy calf as a model for evaluating the vitamin D status of calves. In the study, vitamin D status was controlled by vitamin D injections given to calves fed a vitamin-D-free milk replacer. They injected half the calves with 8,600 international units (IU) of vitamin D, and the rest with 54,000 IU of the vitamin. Using this approach, they found that vitamin D levels in the bloodstream of the young calf could be controlled in a predictable fashion.

The researchers also found that this model could be adapted to examine effects of subclinical vitamin D deficiency on the immune system of the calf. This is important, given that 8 to 10 percent of neonatal dairy calves in the United States die during the first months of life, and more than 30 percent are diagnosed with some form of clinical disease.

New studies using this model might provide support for revision of the National Research Council's current vitamin D recommendation for calves. It has the potential to allow researchers to take the next step toward determining the effects of vitamin D on the calf's immune system.

A paper on this research has been published in the Journal of Dairy Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Chris Guy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Model developed for manipulating vitamin D levels in calves." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525140958.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, May 25). Model developed for manipulating vitamin D levels in calves. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525140958.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Model developed for manipulating vitamin D levels in calves." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100525140958.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins