Dairy cows experience increased oxidative stress during periods of transition such as at the cessation of lactation and around the periparturient period, thus increasing disease risk. Despite routine supplementation of transition cow diets with certain vitamins in an attempt to mitigate oxidative stress, there is no currently available data directly linking vitamin supplementation with antioxidant potential (AOP) in transition cows. The objective of this study was to determine the association between serum vitamins and biomarkers of oxidative stress in healthy cows. Blood samples were collected from 240 cows at dry off (DO), close up (CU), and 2–10 days post-calving (DIM2-10). Blood samples were analyzed for vitamins (A, D, E), β-carotene, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and AOP. Spearman correlations and mixed linear regression models were used to assess associations between vitamins and measures of oxidant status. Vitamin D concentrations were positively associated with AOP at the CU and DIM2-10. Based on the positive association with AOP, additional in-vitro studies were conducted that showed vitamin D mitigated barrier integrity loss in endothelial cells during oxidative stress. These results indicate for the first time that vitamin D may have a role in promoting antioxidant potential in transition dairy cows.
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