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The effects of maternal dietary supplementation of cholecalciferol (vitamin D 3) and 25(OH)D 3 on sow and progeny performance 1

  • Thayer, Morgan T1
  • Nelssen, Jim L1
  • Langemeier, Austin J1
  • Morton, Jodi M1
  • Gonzalez, John M1
  • Kruger, Stephanie R1
  • Ou, Zhining2
  • Makowski, Andrew J3
  • Bergstrom, Jon R4
  • 1 Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, College of Agriculture, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • 2 Department of Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • 3 Heartland Assays, Ames, IA
  • 4 DSM Nutritional Products, North America, Animal Nutrition and Health, Parsippany, NJ
Published Article
Translational Animal Science
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Mar 16, 2019
DOI: 10.1093/tas/txz029
PMID: 32704837
PMCID: PMC7200878
PubMed Central
  • AcademicSubjects/SCI00960


A total of 69 sows (DNA Line 200 × 400) and their progeny were used to determine if feeding a combination of vitamin D3 and 25(OH)D3 influences neonatal and sow vitamin D status, muscle fiber morphometrics at birth and weaning, and subsequent growth performance. Within 3 d of breeding, sows were allotted to one of three dietary treatments fortified with 1,500 IU/kg vitamin D3 (CON), 500 IU/kg vitamin D3 + 25 μg/kg 25(OH)D3 (DL), or 1,500 IU/kg vitamin D3 + 50 μg/kg 25(OH)D3 (DH). When pigs were sacrificed at birth, there were no treatment effects for all fiber morphometric measures ( P > 0.170), except primary fiber number and the ratio of secondary to primary muscle fibers ( P < 0.016). Pigs from CON fed sows had fewer primary fibers than pigs from sows fed the DH treatment ( P = 0.014), with pigs from sows fed DL treatment not differing from either ( P > 0.104). Pigs from CON and DL fed sows had a greater secondary to primary muscle fiber ratio compared to pigs from DH sows ( P < 0.022) but did not differ from each other ( P = 0.994). There were treatment × time interactions for all sow and pig serum metabolites ( P < 0.001). Therefore, treatment means were compared within the time period. At all time periods, sow serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations differed for all treatments with the magnitude of difference largest at weaning ( P < 0.011), where serum 25(OH)D3 concentration was always the greatest when sows were fed the DH diet. At birth, piglets from DH fed sows had greater serum 25(OH)D3 concentrations than piglets from sows fed the DL treatment ( P = 0.003), with piglets from sows fed CON treatment not differing from either ( P > 0.061). At weaning, serum concentrations of 25(OH)D3 in piglets from all sow treatments were different ( P < 0.001), with the greatest concentration in piglets from DH sows, followed by CON, and followed by DL. There were no treatment × time interactions for any of the metabolites measured in milk and no treatment or time main effects for 24,25(OH)2D3 concentration ( P > 0.068). Colostrum collected within 12 h of parturition contained less ( P = 0.001) 25(OH)D3 than milk collected on day 21 of lactation. Regardless of time, concentrations of 25(OH)D3 in milk were different ( P < 0.030), with the largest 25(OH)D3 concentration from DH fed sows, followed by DL, and then CON. In conclusion, combining vitamin D3 and 25(OH)D3 in the maternal diet improves the vitamin D status of the dam and progeny and it increases primary muscle fiber number at birth.

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