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Effects of calcium intake and parity on plasma minerals and bone turnover around parturition

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ABSTRACT

Eight pregnant heifers (primiparous cows) and seven pregnant cows in their second, third and forth pregnancies (multiparous cows) were assigned to two groups and fed either a low calcium (Ca) diet (Ca, 0.46%) or a high Ca diet (Ca, 0.86%) ad libitum from 3 weeks before the expected calving date to 3 days after parturition. All cows were examined for a change in dry matter intake (DMI), plasma minerals and bone turnover around parturition. The dietary Ca level did not affect the DMI in both primiparous and multiparous cows. The DMI of primiparous cows was significantly lower than that of multiparous cows (P < 0.05) in both the low and high dietary Ca groups. The dietary Ca level did not affect the concentrations of plasma Ca, phosphorus, magnesium and parathyroid hormone throughout the experimental period. Plasma phosphorus in primiparous cows was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than that of multiparous cows around parturition. Plasma Ca and magnesium tended to be higher (P < 0.10) in primiparous cows. The dietary Ca level did not affect the plasma osteocalcin (OC) level measured as bone formation or the urinary deoxypyridinoline (DPD) excretion measured as bone resorption before parturition in both primiparous and multiparous cows. After parturition, the plasma OC level was lower than it was before parturition in multiparous cows fed a low Ca diet, and in primiparous cows. There were no significant differences in urinary DPD excretion between each group before and after parturition. Both the plasma OC level and urinary DPD excretion of primiparous cows were significantly higher than those of multiparous cows in both the low and high dietary Ca groups.
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Keywords: bone; dairy cow; dietary calcium; parity; parturition

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: National Agricultural Research Center for Kyushu Okinawa Region, Nishigoshi-machi, Kumamoto-ken and 2: National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Nasushiobara-shi, Japan

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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