Effect of vitamin E on cortisol, lactate, and acid base balance in transported calves

Veterinarni Medicina 41, 1996, 71-76

The objective of this study was to examine the effect of vitamin E administration on plasma levels of cortisol and lactate, and on acid base balance in transported calves. In the study, eight calves, aged approx. ten days, divided into two groups, were used. 20 mg of tocopherol-acetate per kg body weight were administred orally to each of the four experimental calves 24 hours before loading. The calves were transported by road for 3 hours. Blood samples collected before and after the transportation were examined for acid base balance, lactate, and plasma vitamin E and cortisol levels. The administration of vitamin E led to a decrease of cortisol levels in 24 hours (from 7.6 +/- 9.5 to 4.2 +/- 0.2 nmol/l) as well as to a significant increase (p < 0.05) of plasma vitamin E levels 26 h after administration (from 2.52 +/- 1.36 to 12.28 +/- 6.14 mu mol/l). There was no difference between the groups in cortisol response due to transportation stress (Tab. III). The transportation caused typical stress changes in lactate levels and acid base balance (lactacidaemia and the tendency to acidosis, Tab. III, IV). There was approx. threefold increase in plasma lactate concentrations due to transportation (from 2.49 +/- 0.69 to 6.35 +/- 3.75 mmol/l). The results of the present study demonstrated metabolic changes which had been reported to be typical of ''mild physiological stress reaction''. In the present study, vitamin E had no significant effect on plasma levels of cortisol, and lactate, and acid-base balance

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