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Research article2007Peer reviewedOpen access

Supplementation of RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate to periparturient dairy cows in commercial herds with high mastitis incidence

Persson Waller K, Sandgren CH, Emanuelson U, Jensen SK


Dietary vitamin E supplementation of dairy cows around calving has been associated with improved udder health. However, few studies have been performed in Europe and in commercial dairy herds. Therefore, the main aim of the study was to evaluate whether extra daily dietary supplementation of 1,610 mg of α- tocopherol, in the form of RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate, to dairy cows around calving could improve the udder health in commercial herds with a high incidence of veterinary-treated clinical mastitis. In addition, the effects of supplementation on other cow diseases, fertility, milk production, culling, and stillbirth were also studied. Cows in 21 herds in southeast Sweden were assigned to 1 of 2 groups, 1) daily supplementation with 1,610 mg of RRR-α-tocopherol from 4 wk before to 2 wk after calving (n = 196), or 2) no extra supplementation (n = 203), on top of the normal diet containing average vitamin E supplementation (on average, 386, 664, and 957 mg/d to cows at 1 mo prior to calving, at calving, and at 15 d after calving, respectively). Multivariable generalized linear mixed models were used for statistical analyses of the effects of supplementation on the cumulative incidence risk of veterinary-treated clinical mastitis and of veterinary-treated diseases other than mastitis within 1 and 2 mo after calving, culling (due to udder health or other reasons) within 2 and 9mo after calving, the risk of stillbirth or calf death within 24 h after calving, time from calving to first insemination, number of inseminations per service period, and cow composite natural logarithm of somatic cell count and daily milk production at the first monthly testing after calving. A significant effect of supplementation was observed only for stillbirth or calf death within 24 h after birth, which was significantly lower in the supplemented group. The reasons for this finding require further study

Published in

Journal of Dairy Science
2007, Volume: 90, number: 8, pages: 3640-3646

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    • UKÄ Subject classification

      Veterinary Science
      Animal and Dairy Science

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