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Vet Q. 2012;32(3-4):145-50. doi: 10.1080/01652176.2012.734640. Epub 2012 Oct 19.

l-Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) supplementation to optimize health and reproduction in cattle.

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Department of Teaching, Veterinary Clinical Complex, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.


Cattle can synthesize L-ascorbic acid (or Vitamin C) from either D-glucose or D-galactose through glucuronic acid pathway in the liver. L-Ascorbic acid present in cattle diet is almost totally destroyed by rumen microorganisms making them essentially dependent on its endogenous synthesis, which is assumed sufficient to meet the physiological requirement. Therefore, the role of vitamin C in cattle health and disease has remained widely overlooked. However, there is mounting evidence that the level of L-ascorbic acid in blood and other tissues decreases in association with stress and disease, and Vitamin C supplementation revealed favorable response as evident from early recovery. The present review is an attempt to summarize the existing literature pertaining to the physiological role of L-ascorbic acid and the scope of its supplementation in the prevention and treatment of diseases in cattle. It should be realized that the aqueous solution of vitamin C is highly acidic and subcutaneous or intramuscular administration may cause tissue irritation and inflammation, whereas the sodium ascorbate solution is less acidic and might be used for intramuscular administration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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