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  • Author or Editor: Raquel Guinzberg x
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Objective—To assess effects of high dietary amounts of vitamin C or vitamin E and oxidative stress on the heart and growth performance of broilers maintained at an altitude of 2,200 m above sea level.

Animals—360 chicks (1-day-old broilers).

Procedure—Birds were randomly assigned to 3 groups (120 chicks/group). Each group of birds was fed a specific diet (control group, basal diet containing 12 mg of vitamin E (DL-α-tocopherol acetate)/kg of feed without additional ascorbic acid; vitamin E group, basal diet supplemented with 75 mg of vitamin E/kg of feed; and vitamin C group, basal diet supplemented with 400 mg of ascorbic acid/kg of feed) throughout the entire 7 weeks of the study. Feed consumption and body weight of chicks were recorded on a weekly basis. Nine randomly selected birds from each group were euthanatized each week. Remaining birds were euthanatized at the end of the study. Samples of cardiac tissues were obtained to measure thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), an indicator of oxidative stress.

Results—Vitamin E-supplemented diets resulted in better growth performance, lower rates of feed conversion, and lower TBARS content. Vitamin C-supplemented diets resulted in lower feed consumption and lower rates of feed conversion. When used separately, neither of the vitamins had any effect on mortality attributable to ascites syndrome.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—It is recommended that diets supplemented with vitamin C, vitamin E, or both be fed to broilers maintained at an altitude of 2,200 m above sea level to improve growth performance. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:673–676)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research