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The role of nutritional supplementation on the outcome of superovulation in cattle

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Velazquez


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Since the 1990s nutritional supplements including protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals have been used to try and improve the superovulatory response of embryo donors in cattle. However, the accumulated information indicates that nutritional supplementation with protein, fatty acids, or minerals does not increase the number of viable embryos from superovulated cattle. Most of the evidence has shown that vitamin supplementation may increase the mean production of transferable embryos, but only in cows, as a detrimental effect on embryo viability has been reported in young heifers. Nevertheless, vitamin supplementation seems to be effective only when compared with control cows displaying a poor mean embryo production (i.e. less than four viable embryos), questioning the economical significance of such approach. Detrimental effects on embryo development have been reported in superovulated cattle supplemented with protein or fatty acids as well. New approaches to investigate the role of nutritional supplementation on superovulatory outcome in cattle are suggested in the present review. Overall, the available evidence indicates that nutritional supplementation strategies tested are not an effective approach to enhance the superovulatory outcome of well-fed cattle donors.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Velazquez MA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal Reproduction Science

Year: 2011

Volume: 126

Issue: 1-2

Print publication date: 01/06/2011

Online publication date: 24/05/2011

Acceptance date: 16/05/2011

ISSN (print): 0378-4320

ISSN (electronic): 1873-2232

Publisher: Elsevier BV

URL: .

DOI: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2011.05.009