Influence of boron supplementation on performance, immunity and antioxidant status of lambs fed diets with or without adequate level of calcium.
PLoS One. 2017 ;12(11):e0187203. Epub 2017 Nov 15. PMID: 29141035
T Vijay Bhasker
Little is known about biological significance of effects of dietary Boron (B) and Calcium (Ca) interaction on health and production of farm animals. This is a preliminary investigation to evaluate the effects of B supplementation in lambs fed diets with (normal) or without adequate (low) levels of Ca. Twenty-four crossbred ram lambs were randomly distributed into four groups with six animals each in a 2x2 factorial design namely, normal-Ca diet (NCa) and low-Ca diet (LCa) fed without or with 40 ppm B (NCaB-40 and LCaB-40). The lambs were fed paddy straw and hybrid napier hay-based total mixed ration (60 roughage: 40 concentrate) during 180 days experimental period. Compared to control, the LCa diet lowered (P<0.01) average daily gain of lambs, but B-supplementation (LCaB-40) of the same nullified the effect. The lowered (P<0.05) total antioxidant activity and humoral immune response in lambs fed LCa diet were restored (P>0.05) to become at par with the control (NCa) upon supplementation of B (LCaB-40). The mRNA expression of SOD1 was lowered (P<0.05) due to LCa diet feeding which too was normalized on B-supplementation to become at par (P>0.05) with the control (NCa). Further, B-supplementation restored lowered (P<0.05) SOD1 gene expression on LCa diet, but enhanced (P<0.05) that in NCaB-40 group, when compared to the control (NCa) diet fed animals. However, these variations were not reflected in the SOD activity in the erythrocytes. The cell-mediated immune response was higher (P<0.05) in lambs fed LCa and LCaB-40 groups and there was no significant interaction between the levels of either Ca or B in diets with the period of immune response measurement. B- supplementation of LCa diet ameliorated tissue degenerative changes in liver and kidney. It was concluded that feeding LCa diet to lambs resulted in reduced growth rate, total antioxidant activity, humoral immune response along with degenerative changes in liver and kidney tissues, but B-supplementation of such diet restored most of these changes and ameliorated histopathological alterations.