The peripartum (or transition) period is the most-critical phase in the productive life of lactating dairy cows and optimal supply of trace minerals through more bioavailable forms could minimize the negative effects associated with this phase. Twenty Holstein cows received a common prepartal diet and postpartal diet. Both diets were partially supplemented with an inorganic (INO) mix of Zn, Mn, and Cu to supply 35, 45, and 6 ppm, respectively, of the diet dry matter (DM). Cows were assigned to treatments in a randomized completed block design, receiving an daily oral bolus with INO or organic trace minerals (AAC) Zn, Mn, Cu, and Co to achieve 75, 65, 11, and 1 ppm supplemental, respectively, in the diet DM. Liver tissue and blood samples were collected throughout the experiment. The lower glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase concentration after 15 days in milk in AAC cows indicate lower hepatic cell damage. The concentration of cholesterol and albumin increased, while IL-6 decreased over time in AAC cows compared with INO indicating a lower degree of inflammation and better liver function. Although the acute-phase protein ceruloplasmin tended to be lower in AAC cows and corresponded with the reduction in the inflammatory status, the tendency for greater serum amyloid A concentration in AAC indicated an inconsistent response on acute-phase proteins. Oxygen radical absorbance capacity increased over time in AAC cows. Furthermore, the concentrations of nitric oxide, nitrite, nitrate, and the ferric reducing ability of plasma decreased with AAC indicating a lower oxidative stress status. The expression of IL10 and ALB in liver tissue was greater overall in AAC cows reinforcing the anti-inflammatory response detected in plasma. The greater overall expression of PCK1 in AAC cows indicated a greater gluconeogenic capacity, and partly explained the greater milk production response over time. Overall, feeding organic trace minerals as complexed with amino acids during the transition period improved liver function and decreased inflammation and oxidative stress.
- Peripartum Period
- productive life