Effects of short-term supplementation of clinoptilolite in colostrum and milk on the concentration of some serum minerals in neonatal dairy calves.

Department of Clinical Sciences, and Center of Excellence for Ruminant Abortion and Neonatal Mortality, School of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, P. O. Box 91775-1793, Mashhad, Iran.
Biological Trace Element Research (Impact Factor: 1.31). 02/2008; 123(1-3):116-23. DOI: 10.1007/s12011-008-8114-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In recent years, the use of both natural and synthetic zeolites in animal nutrition has increased mainly to improve their performance, health, and to protect against mycotoxin intoxication. Thirty calves were used in the present study for the determination of some physiologic effects of clinoptilolite supplementation. The animals were divided equally into three groups (control, test 1, and test 2). The three groups of calves were homogeneous for parity of dams, sex, and month of birth. For group test 1, clinoptilolite in the concentration of 2% of each colostrum meal was added for 48 h, and for group test 2, clinoptilolite in the concentration of 2% was added to each colostrum and milk meal for 14 days. Blood samples were taken from all calves 12 h after birth and at the end of the first, second, third, forth, fifth, and sixth weeks of life. Calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), sodium (Na), and potassium (K) were determined in the serum. For statistical analysis of data, a repeated measures approach using analysis of variance (ANOVA) with mixed linear models was used. Clinoptilolite supplementation had significant effect on the concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and iron. The concentrations of Fe significantly higher in test group 2 than other trial groups (p < 0.05). Calcium concentrations were significantly higher in serum of clinoptilolite-treated than control calves (p < 0.05). The concentrations of phosphorus were significantly lower in test groups than control group (p < 0.05). Sodium concentrations were significantly higher in clinoptilolite-supplemented groups than control calves (p < 0.05). Potassium and magnesium concentrations were not affected by clinoptilolite supplementation. Clinoptilolite supplementation could promote iron levels in serum and better hemopoiesis and prevent pathologic or physiologic drop of red blood cell (RBC) parameters in supplemented calves during a first few weeks of life. According to higher need and utilization of Ca in growing animals, clinoptilolite supplementation could increase available Ca. Based on the results of the present study and the importance of dietary phosphorus in many physiologic processes, the level of phosphorus in diet of neonatal dairy calves must be considered and adapted when clinoptilolite was supplemented. With an adequate supply of good quality drinking water, cattle can tolerate large quantities of dietary sodium chloride. Thus, it seems that significant increase in serum Na concentration during short-term supplementation of clinoptilolite in neonatal calves could be well tolerated without any adverse effects.