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Vitamin E supplementation in male rabbits

by May 15 2009


Vitamin C supplementation is required in many rabbits of both sexes. But what about Vitamin E? Vitamin E supplementation has become a common procedure to promote growth and health and improve the qualitative characteristics of farm animals. It has been demonstrated to be an efficient strategy for improving their reproductive function. Also in male rabbits? An interesting study from Italy. Germ cells are particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage and may thus require additional antioxidant protection.

The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge of the biochemistry and physiology of vitamin E; successively, the effect of this compound on the reproductive activity of rabbit buck is accurately described.

In particular, this review examines studies on the effects of animal age, dose and duration of vitamin E supplementation, as well as the co-supplementation with selenium, vitamin C and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Several investigations have shown beneficial effects in bucks supplemented with vitamin E levels higher than the standard dietary requirement (50 mg/kg) particularly when the semen is stored. However, the exact dietary intake of vitamin E should be decided according to specific tissue needs for the individual vitamin E forms and the specific saturation markers.

Source: C Castellini, E Mourvaki, A Dal Bosco, F Galli (2007): Vitamin E Biochemistry and Function: A Case Study in Male Rabbit. In: Reproduction in Domestic Animals 42 (3), 248–256.

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