Effects of dietary supplementation with vitamin C or vitamin E on cardiac lipid peroxidation and growth performance in broilers at risk of developing ascites syndrome

Gonzalo Villar-Patiño Department of Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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Antonio Díaz-Cruz Department of Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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Ernesto Ávila-González Department of Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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 DVM, MSc
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Raquel Guinzberg Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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José L. Pablos Department of Animal Nutrition and Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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Enrique Piña Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico, PO Box 70159, Mexico 04510 DF, Mexico.

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Abstract

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)

Abstract

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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