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Dietary vitamin E in White Leghorn layer breeder hens: a strategy to combat aflatoxin B1-induced damage

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Mycotoxins are unavoidable contaminants of animal and human feed and food respectively. This study was designed to investigate the protective activity of vitamin E (Vit E) in White Leghorn breeder hens and their progeny against aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-induced damage. The results indicated a significant decrease in egg production and quality in the groups exposed to dietary AFB1. A detectable amount of AFB1 residue appeared in the eggs during the first week of mycotoxin exposure at levels ≥ 2.5 mg kg−1, which reached its peak (0.403 ± 0.04 ng/g [mean ± standard deviation]) during the second week of the experiment (in the group fed 10 mg kg−1). Feeding Vit E + AFB1 resulted in higher AFB1 residues (0.467 ± 0.03) when compared with the hens fed AFB1 alone. The resistance of red blood cells to oxidative damage was decreased, while embryonic mortalities and deformities were increased in the AFB1-fed groups. The protective effect of Vit E on these parameters was noted in the groups fed lower doses of AFB1. After the withdrawal of mycotoxin-contaminated feed, most of the parameters returned towards normal within 2 weeks, except AFB1 residues that were still detectable. From the findings of this study one can conclude that the addition of Vit E in the diet of hens provided only partial protection against AFB1-induced damage.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan 2: Department of Animal Health, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan 3: Animal Sciences Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan

Publication date: September 3, 2014

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