Effect of Dietary Antioxidant and Energy Density on Performance and Anti-oxidative Status of Transition Cows

  • Wang, Y.M. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Wang, J.H. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Wang, C. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Wang, J.K. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Chen, B. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Liu, J.X. (Institute of Dairy Science, Zhejiang University) ;
  • Cao, H. (Novus International Research Center) ;
  • Guo, F.C. (Novus International Research Center)
  • Received : 2009.10.18
  • Accepted : 2010.01.11
  • Published : 2010.10.01


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary antioxidant and energy density on performance and antioxidative status in transition cows. Forty cows were randomly allocated to 4 dietary treatments in a $2{\times}2$ factorial design. High or low energy density diets (1.43 or 1.28 Mcal $NE_L$/kg DM, respectively) were formulated with or without antioxidant (AOX, a dry granular blend of ethoxyquin and tertiary-butylhydroquinone; 0 or 5 g/cow per d). These diets were fed to cows for 21 days pre-partum. During the post-partum period, all cows were fed the same lactation diets, and AOX treatment followed as for the pre-partum period. Feeding a high energy diet depressed the DMI, milk yield, and 4% fat-corrected milk (FCM) of cows. However, AOX inclusion in the diet improved the milk and 4% FCM yields. There was an interaction of energy density by AOX on milk protein, milk fat and total solids contents. Feeding a high energy diet pre-partum increased plasma glucose and ${\beta}$-hydroxybutyrate, whereas dietary AOX decreased plasma ${\beta}$-hydroxybutyrate value during the transition period. There were also interactions between time and treatment for plasma glutathione peroxidase activity and malondialdehyde content during the study. Cows fed high energy diets pre-partum had higher plasma glutathione peroxidase activity 3 days prior to parturition, compared with those on low energy diets. Inclusion of AOX in diets decreased plasma glutathione peroxidase activity in cows 3 and 10 days pre-partum. Addition of AOX significantly decreased malondialdehyde values at calving. Energy density induced marginal changes in fatty acid composition in the erythrocyte membrane 3 days post-partum, while AOX only significantly increased cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid composition. The increase in fluidity of the erythrocyte membrane was only observed in the high energy treatment. It is suggested that a diet containing high energy density pre-partum may negatively affect the anti-oxidative status, DMI and subsequent performance. Addition of AOX may improve the anti-oxidative status and reduce plasma ${\beta}$-hydroxybutyrate, eventually resulting in improved lactation performance; the response to AOX addition was more pronounced on the high energy diet.


Antioxidant;Energy Density;Transition Cow;Blood Metabolism;Anti-oxidative Status


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