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Dietary Supplementation of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) during the Dry Period Improves Redox Balance in Lactating Dairy Cows

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia 06123, Italy
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Narellan, NSW 2567, Australia
Animal Nutrition and Health, DSM Nutritional Products, Kaiseragust 4303, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antioxidants 2019, 8(2), 38;
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Redox Balance in Animal Physiology)
PDF [541 KB, uploaded 14 February 2019]


Thirty-six pregnant Holstein–Friesian cows were used to study the effect of Yerba Mate (YM) supplementation during the dry period on redox balance. The treatments groups were Control (no YM), YM 250 (250 g/cow/day), and YM 500 (500 g/cow/day). Blood samples were obtained 30 days prepartum, at calving, and monthly postpartum until four months post calving. Liveweight (LW) and body condition score (BCS) were assessed prepartum, at calving, and then postpartum monthly until the end of the trial. Plasma was analyzed for hydroperoxides (d-ROMs), advanced oxidation protein products (AOPP), and biological antioxidant potential (BAP). The oxidative stress index (OSI) was calculated as OSI = ROMs/BAP × 100. Cows were milked twice daily, and milk yield data were recorded daily. Redox balance was improved by YM supplementation, as reflected in the lower OSI values observed in the YM groups. Yerba Mate supplementation significantly affected LW, but did not affect BCS. Milk yield averaged 28.1 ± 0.40, 29.0 ± 0.48, and 29.9 ± 0.46 L/cow/day in the Control, YM 250, and YM 500 groups, respectively, but was not significant. Nutritional manipulation during the dry period with Yerba Mate has demonstrated the potential to improve redox balance and milk yield. View Full-Text
Keywords: Yerba Mate; redox balance; dairy cattle; antioxidants Yerba Mate; redox balance; dairy cattle; antioxidants

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Barbato, O.; Holmes, B.; Filipescu, I.-E.; Celi, P. Dietary Supplementation of Yerba Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) during the Dry Period Improves Redox Balance in Lactating Dairy Cows. Antioxidants 2019, 8, 38.

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