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Dairy cows undergo dramatic physiological changes during the transition from late pregnancy to early lactation, which make them vulnerable to metabolic stress and immune dysfunction. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a commercial beta-1,3-glucan product (Aleta™, containing 50% beta-1,3-glucan) on productivity, immunity and antioxidative status in transition cows. Fifty-four multiparous Holstein cows received a control diet or a diet supplemented with 5 or 10 g of beta-1,3-glucan per cow per day from 21 days before expected calving to 21 days after parturition. Blood samples were collected at day -21, 1, and 21 relative to calving. Colostrum and milk were collected at day 1 and 21 after calving, respectively. Data showed that supplementation with beta-1,3-glucan had no effect on milk composition, but increased milk production. Beta-1,3-glucan treatment also improved the milk quality, as shown by reduced milk somatic cell count and increased immunoglobulin levels in colostrum. Notably, beta-1,3-glucan markedly reduced serum levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein, while elevated serum immunoglobulin levels, indicating its immunity enhancement in transition cows. Moreover, beta-1,3-glucan addition reduced the serum malondialdehyde level and enhanced the activities of serum superoxide dismutase and catalase, which enhanced the antioxidative capacity in transition cows. In summary, supplementation with beta-1,3-glucan improves productivity, immunity and antioxidative status in transition dairy cows. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Wei-Hao Xia, Lin Wang, Xu-Dong Niu, Jun-Hong Wang, Yan-Ming Wang, Qing-Lei Li, Zhen-Yong Wang. Supplementation with beta-1,3-glucan improves productivity, immunity and antioxidative status in transition Holstein cows. Research in veterinary science. 2021 Jan;134:120-126

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PMID: 33360572

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