The anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects exerted by Aloe on monogastric mammals suggest it as a potential strategy to address the tremendous metabolic alterations that affect dairy cows during their transition to calving. A group of 20 multiparous Italian Holstein dairy cows were housed in freestalls and allocated into two homogeneous groups to receive either 200 g/d of water (CTR) or 200 g/day of Aloe arborescens Mill. whole plant homogenate through a rumen tube (AAM) between −14 and 14 days from calving (DFC). From −14 to 35 DFC, the BCS, and milk yield were measured, and blood samples were collected to assess the hematochemical profile. Data underwent ANOVA testing using a mixed model for repeated measurements, including the treatment and time and their interactions as fixed effects. Compared to CTR cows, AAM cows had a less pronounced BCS loss in early lactation (p < 0.01), indicating less mobilization of body reserves. Compared to CTR cows, AAM cows had a lower plasma concentration of nonesterified fatty acids and beta hydroxybutyrate (p < 0.01 and = 0.01 respectively) that, paired with the lower butterfat content and fat/protein ratio in their milk (p = 0.03 and < 0.01 respectively), indicates that Aloe reduced the mobilization of body fats. AAM cows had a reduced concentration of myeloperoxidase in plasma and a lower SCC in milk compared to CTR cows (p = 0.02 for both), indicating an anti-inflammatory effect of Aloe. Furthermore, AAM cows had a lower plasma concentration of ceruloplasmin (p < 0.05) and higher plasma concentration of cholesterol, retinol, and paraoxonase compared to CTR cows (p < 0.01, < 0.01 and < 0.05 respectively), indicating Aloe was effective in mitigating the acute phase response in early lactation. Finally, AAM cows had lower plasma creatinine concentrations around calving (p < 0.05), a lower concentration of plasma bilirubin, and a higher concentration of plasma tocopherol compared to CTR cows (p = 0.01 for both). These data suggest Aloe has anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects on transition dairy cows that could have ameliorated liver and kidney function disruption and increased the availability of body antioxidants in early lactation.
- Acute phase response
- Kidney function