Reproductive Performance of Dairy Buffaloes Supplemented with Varying Levels of Vitamin E

  • Panda, N. (Division of Dairy Cattle Nutrition, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Kaur, Harjit (Division of Dairy Cattle Nutrition, National Dairy Research Institute) ;
  • Mohanty, T.K. (Artificial Breeding Complex)
  • Received : 2004.10.23
  • Accepted : 2005.05.26
  • Published : 2006.01.01


The effect of vitamin E supplementation on plasma ${\alpha}$-tocopherol level, total antioxidant level and reproductive performance in Murrah buffaloes was studied during periparturient period. Twenty-four advance pregnant buffaloes were randomly divided into four equal groups as $T_1$, $T_2$, $T_3$ and $T_4$ and were supplemented with 0, 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000 IU of ${\alpha}$-tocopheryl acetate (Merck) from 60 days prepartum to 30 days postpartum and 0, 500, 750 and 1,000 IU from 30 to 60 days postpartum, respectively. Blood samples were collected at -60, -45, -30, -15, -7, 0, 7, 15, 30 and 60 days of parturition and were analyzed for plasma ${\alpha}$-tocopherol and total antioxidant activity (TAA). The intake of DM, CP and TDN did not vary among different groups. Plasma ${\alpha}$-tocopherol and TAA around parturition (-7 to 15 day) in $T_3$ and $T_4$ were significantly higher than the control group. There was 17% reduction in retention of fetal membranes (RFM) and metritis in $T_4$ than control. The post partum estrus interval averaged 58.00, 55.33, 51.83 and 43.00 days in $T_1$, $T_2$, $T_3$ and $T_4$ respectively. There was significant reduction in days open in both $T_3$ and $T_4$ in comparison to $T_1$ group (127,130 Vs.146). All the vitamin E supplemented groups showed reduction in days open than their previous lactation performance. Supplementation of vitamin E at $1,500IU\;d^{-1}$ from 60 day prepartum to 30 day post partum to buffaloes exhibited beneficial effect on plasma ${\alpha}$-tocopherol level and TAA around parturition and continuation of its supplementation at $1,000IU\;d^{-1}$ from 30 to 60 days of lactation improved post partum reproductive performance of buffaloes.


  1. Aitken, R. J. 1994. A free radical theory of male infertility. Reprod Fertil Dev. 6:19-23
  2. Batra, T. R., M. Hidiroglou and M. W. Smith. 1992. Effect of vitamin E on incidence of mastitis in dairy cattle. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 72:287-297
  3. Ezzo, O. H. 1995. The effects of vitamins and Se supplementation on serum vitamin level and some reproductive patterns in Egyptian buffaloes during pre and postpartum periods. Buffalo J. 11:103-107
  4. Kaur, H., R. Chawla, P. N. Chatterjee and N. Panda. 2002. Mastitis control-A nutritional approach. Proc. the Technical Symposium on Dairy mastitis and milk quality. 3rd International expo and conference on Dairy and Food Processing Technology. Sept 4-7, New Delhi
  5. Luktuke, S. N. and D. J. Roy. 1967. Studies on cervical mucus pattern in relation to fertility in bovine. Indian J. Vet. Sci. 37:26-31
  6. McDowell, L. R. 2002. Recent Advances in minerals and vitamins on nutrition of lactating cows. Pakistan J. Nutr. 1:8-19
  7. Nayyar, S., V. K. Gill, N. Singh, K. S. Roy and R. Singh. 2002. Levels of antioxidant vitamins in anoestrus buffalo heifers supplemented with vitamin E and selenium. Ind. J. Anim. Sci. 72:395-397
  8. Nicola Lacetera, D. W. M., B. S. Umberto Bernabucci, D. V. M. Bruno Ronchi and B. S. Alessandro Nardone. 1996. Effects of Se and vitamin E administration during a late stage of pregnancy on colostrums and milk production in diary cows, and on passive immunity and growth of their offspring. Am. J. Vet. Res. 57:1776-1780
  9. Sidhu, S. S., K. Singh and P. Singh. 2002. Involution of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) uterus: Puerperal metritis and diametric changes in tubular genital organ. 18th Annual convention of ISSAR and National Symposium, Nov. 14-16, IVRI, Izatnagar, (U.P), India
  10. Jukola, E., J. Hakkarainen, H. Saloniemi and S. Sankar. 1996. Blood selenium, vitamin E, vitamin A and $\beta$-carotene concentrations and udder health, fertility treatments and fertility. J. Dairy Sci. 79:838-845
  11. Stowe, H. D., J. W. Thomas, J. V. Johnson, D. A. Marteniuk, D. A. Morrow and D. E. Ullrey. 1988. Responses of dairy cattle to long term and short term supplementation with oral selenium and vitamin E. J. Dairy Sci. 71:1830-1839
  12. Margolin, Y., R. F. Aten and H. R. Behram. 1990. Antigonadotropic and antisteroidogenic actions of peroxide in rat granulosa cells. Endocrinol. 127:245-250
  13. Arechiga, C. F., O. Ortiz and P. J. Hansen. 1994. Effect of prepartum injection of vitamin E and Se on post partum reproductive function of dairy cattle. Theriogenol. 41:1251- 1258
  14. Campbell, M. H. and J. K. Miller. 1998. Effect of supplemental dietary vitamin E and Zinc on reproductive performance of dairy cows and heifers fed excess iron. J. Dairy Sci. 81:2693- 2699
  15. Kim, H. S., J. M. Lee, S. B. Park, S. G. Jeong, J. K. Jung and K. S. Im. 1997. Effect of vitamin E and selenium administration on the performance in dairy cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 10:308-312
  16. Snedecor, G. W. and W. G. Cochran. 1980. Statistical methods. 7th Ed. Oxford
  17. Harrison, J. H., D. D. Hancock and H. R. Conrad. 1984. Vitamin E and Se for reproduction of the dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 67:123-132
  18. Kearl, L. C. 1982. Nutrient requirements of Ruminants in developing countries
  19. Benzie, F. F. and J. J. Strain. 1999. Ferric reducing/antioxidant power assay: Direct measure of total antioxidant activity of biological fluids and modified version of simultaneous measurement of total antioxidant power and ascorbic acid concentration. Methods in Enzymology 299:15-23
  20. Singh, P., R. D. Sharma, A. S. Nanda, K. S. Dhillon and Rajvir Singh. 1997. Periparturient biochemical profile during placental retention and normal calving in buffaloes. Buffalo J. 13:307-324
  21. AOAC. 1995. Official methods of analysis, association of officially analytical chemists. 16th Ed. Virginia, USA
  22. Brzezinska, S. E., J. K. Miller, J. D. Qigley and J. R. Moore. 1994. Antioxidant status of dairy cows supplemented prepartum with vitamin E and selenium. J. Dairy Sci. 77:3037-3095
  23. Fujitani, Y., K. Kasai, S. Ohtani, K. Nishimura, M. Yamada and K. Utsumi. 1997. Effect of oxygen concentration and free radicals on in vitro-produced bovine embryos. J. Anim. Sci. 75:483- 489
  24. Morrow, D. A., S. J. Roberts, K. McEntee and H. G. Gray. 1966. Postpartum ovarian activity and uterine involution in dairy cattle. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 149:1596-1609
  25. Chatterjee, P. N. 2002. Influence of supplementing vitamin E on incidence of mastitis and milk quality of cows. M.Sc. thesis, NDRI (Deemed University), Karnal, India
  26. Chawla, R. and H. Kaur. 2001. Isocaratic HPLC method for simultaneous determination of $\beta$-carotene, retinol and $\alpha$- tocopherol in feeds and blood plasma. Ind. J. Dairy Sci. 54:84- 90
  27. Miller, J. K., E. Brzeninska-Slebodzinska and F. C. Madsen. 1993. Oxidative stress, antioxidants and animal function. J. Dairy Sci. 76:2812-2823
  28. Arechiga, C. F., S. Vazquez-Flores, O. Ortiz, J. Hernandes-Ceron, A. Porras, L. R. McDowell and P. J. Hansen. 1998. Effect of injection of $\beta$-carotene or vitamin E and selenium on fertility of lactating dairy cows. Theriogenol. 50:65-76
  29. Erskine, R. J., P. C. Bartlett, T. Herdt and P. Gaston. 1997. Effects of parenteral administration of Vitamin E on health of periparturient dairy cows. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 211:466- 469
  30. Weiss, W. P., J. S. Hogan, D. A. Todhunter and K. L. Smith. 1997. Effect of vitamin E supplementation in diets with a low concentration of selenium on mammary gland health of dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 80:1728-1737
  31. Weiss, W. P., D. A. Todhunter, J. S. Hogan and K. L. Smith. 1990. Effect of duration of supplementation of selenium and vitamin E on periparturient dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 73:3187-3194
  32. Chatterjee, P. N., H. Kaur and N. Panda. 2003. Effect of vitamin E supplementation on plasma antioxidant vitamins and immunity status of crossbred cows. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 16:1614- 1618
  33. Dragel, R. 1992. Lipid peroxidation- a common pathogenetic mechanism. Exp. Toxicol. Pathol. 44:169-181
  34. Goff, J. P. and J. R. Stabel. 1990. Decreased plasma retinol, $\alpha$- tocopherol and zinc concentration during the periparturient period: Effect of milk fever. J. Dairy Sci. 73:3195-3199
  35. Panda, N. and H. Kaur. 2003. Effect of supplemental vitamin E on plasma total antiodixant activity in periparturient Murrah buffaloes. Proc. 4th Asian Buffalo Congress. p. 180. Feb. 25-28, New Delhi

Cited by

  1. Effect of additional vitamin E and zinc supplementation on immunological changes in peripartum Sahiwal cows vol.98, pp.6, 2014,
  2. Effect of peripartum nutritional management on plasma profile of steroid hormones, metabolites, and postpartum fertility in buffaloes vol.10, pp.3, 2017,