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.
ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
Chris Guy | EurekAlert!
Raiding the rape field
23.05.2018 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
New technique reveals details of forest fire recovery
17.05.2018 | DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Life Sciences
23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy