Novoa-Garrido, Margarita; Aanensen, Lise; Jensen, Søren K. and Steinshamn, Håvard (2010) Effect of feeding vitamin E from different sources on the immune system and intestinal microbiota in small ruminants. Presentation of an on going Norwegian project. Poster at: Gut Microbiology: new insights into gut microbial ecosystems, Aberdeen, Scotland (UK), June 23rd-25th, 2010. [Completed]
Vitamin E is important for ruminants to maintain an optimal immune function, reproduction traits and a high quality of milk and meat. Synthetic vitamin E consists of 87.5% tocopherol molecules with a non-natural configuration and is biological ineffective.
The aim of this project is to study the effects of supplementing the diets with seaweed meal or oil seeds extracts as natural vitamin E sources on the immune system and gastrointestinal microbiota in sheep and their off-springs. Of special interest is the group fed with seaweed meal, since seaweed is an abundant and easy accessible raw material on the Norwegian coastline with a huge economical potential.
The study includes 40 ewes and their future lambs. The animals will be followed from mating until the animals are put out to pasture. The animals were divided in four even groups, with two pens per group. Each group gets a concentrate including the different vitamin E sources. Intestinal microbiota parameters, production of specific antibodies and cell mediated immunity following immunization, production of antibodies against environmental microbes and the immunoglobulin concentration in the mothers and the lambs will be monitored. We will also assess the mitogen induced lymphocyte proliferation and intradermal skintest reaction to both mitogen and antigen in lambs.
The hypothesis is that supplementation with natural vitamin sources improves the immunologic status and the gastrointestinal microbiota composition in sheep.
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