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Animals (Basel). 2012 Apr 16;2(2):184-94. doi: 10.3390/ani2020184.

Supplementation of Ascorbic Acid in Weanling Horses Following Prolonged Transportation.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 84 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. ralston@aesop.rutgers.edu.
2
Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 84 Lipman Drive, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. michelle.stives.dvm@gmail.com.

Abstract

Though horses synthesize ascorbic acid in their liver in amounts that meet their needs under normal circumstances, prolonged stress results in low plasma concentrations due to enhanced utilization and renal excretion and can reduce immune function. It was hypothesized that plasma ascorbic acid could be maintained in weanling horses by oral supplementation following prolonged transportation. Weanlings were supplemented with no ascorbic acid (Tx 0: n = 4), 5 grams ascorbic acid twice daily for 5 days (Tx 1: n = 4) or for 10 days (Tx 2: n = 4) following >50 hours of transportation. Supplementation caused slight (P < 0.2) increases in plasma ascorbic acid concentrations. Both supplemented groups had decreased (P < 0.05) plasma concentrations for 1 to 3 weeks following cessation of supplementation, possibly due to increased renal excretion or suppressed hepatic synthesis. Supplementation of ascorbic acid following prolonged stress will increase plasma concentrations, but prolonged supplementation should be avoided.

KEYWORDS:

ascorbic acid; transportation stress; vaccine response

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