Effect of Vitamin C at Different Doses on the Oxidant/Antioxidant System of Ewes During Late Pregnancy, Early and Late Lactation and Their Lambs

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Gürgöze S., ALAK İ., Durak M. H.

Indian Journal of Animal Research, vol.58, no.1, pp.56-60, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 58 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.18805/ijar.bf-1637
  • Journal Name: Indian Journal of Animal Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.56-60
  • Keywords: Antioxidant, Ewe, Lactation, Oxidant, Pregnant, Vitamin C
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


Background: The development of connective tissue in the fetus during the ruminant gestation period increases the need for vitamin C, which is then further increased by the course of pregnancy and lactation. As pregnancy and lactation develop, free radicals and MDA produced as a result of oxidative stress interact with functional groups in the cell, resulting in cell damage. The oxidant/antioxidant balance at this time can be calculated using the total antioxidant status, total oxidant status and oxidative status index values. This study aimed to investigate the effect of two different doses of vitamin C on oxidative stress indicators in late gestation, early and late lactation ewes and their offspring. Methods: In the study, 48 ewes of the German Meat Merino and Akkaraman breeds that were developed by crossbreeding were employed. After breeding, four groups were formed from pregnant and non-pregnant ewes. Negative Pregnancy Control group was formed from non-pregnant ewes. Positive Pregnancy Control, Positive Pregnancy Practice 1 and Positive Pregnancy Practice 2 groups were formed from pregnant ewes. After the 90th day of pregnancy, ewes in the Negative Pregnancy Control and Positive Pregnancy Control groups received saline (0.9% NaCl, 2.5 ml) injections every week concurrently with the other pregnant groups until delivery. From the 90th day of pregnancy until birth, sheep participating in Positive Pregnancy Practices 1 and 2 received weekly injections of vitamin C (625 mg/CA, 2.5 ml and 1250 mg/CA, 5 ml, respectively). Result: In the study, no statistically significant difference was found in serum MDA, TAS, TOS and OSI levels between late pregnancy, lactation and born lambs. While none of the pregnant ewes in this study aborted, vitamin C injection significantly decreased postnatal lamb mortality. This showed that vitamin C helped pregnant ewes feel less stressed throughout pregnancy and helped lower postnatal lamb mortality. In pregnant ewes, AO-effective vitamin C supplementation has been shown to have possible beneficial effects on both maternal and offspring health, whereby the number of stillbirths was reduced by vitamin C supplementation, especially in Positive Pregnancy Practice 2 lambs.