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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2012 Dec;44(8):1827-32. doi: 10.1007/s11250-012-0144-y. Epub 2012 Apr 29.

Plasma hormones, metabolites, milk production, and cholesterol levels in Murrah buffaloes fed with Asparagus racemosus in transition and postpartum period.

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Livestock Production and Management, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 132001 Haryana, India.


Ten dry and pregnant Murrah buffaloes were selected to investigate the effect of Asparagus racemosus feeding on hormones, metabolites, milk yield, and plasma cholesterol levels. The treatment groups of buffaloes were fed with A. racemosus (shatavari) @ 150 g/day/animal during prepartum and @ 300 g/day/animal during the postpartum period. Blood samples collected on -6, -4, -2-week, day of parturition (0), and +2, +4, and +6-week postpartum were analyzed for plasma total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), prolactin, cortisol, and blood metabolites. Milk samples collected at weekly intervals (+1, +3, +5, and 7 weeks) were analyzed for total milk fat cholesterol. Prepartum plasma cholesterol concentrations were significantly higher in treatment group over the control (P < 0.05). Mean plasma triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, glucose, and nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels varied nonsignificantly between groups. Plasma prolactin and cortisol concentrations were significantly (P < 0.01) more in treatment group than in control group. On day of parturition, plasma prolactin, cortisol, LDL, and plasma total cholesterol were higher (P < 0.01) in treatment group buffaloes in comparison to control group. A. racemosus feeding significantly (P < 0.01) increased plasma prolactin, cortisol (P < 0.01), and milk fat cholesterol (P < 0.05) without affecting total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, glucose, and NEFA concentrations. The buffaloes of treatment group produced more milk (@ 0.526 kg/animal/day) suggesting thereby that A. racemosus is galactopoietic. It was concluded that feeding of A. racemosus increases plasma prolactin and cortisol and decreased plasma total cholesterol and LDL concentration.

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