Acta Vet. Brno 2022, 91: 133-139

Concentration of vitamin E in bovine plasma and erythrocytes

Romana Kadek, Jaroslav Filípek, Karolína Mikulková, Josef Illek

University of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Large Animal Clinical Laboratory Brno, Czech Republic

Received August 12, 2021
Accepted February 1, 2022

The aim of this study was to determine and compare the plasma and erythrocyte (RBCs) levels of vitamin E in cows of 3 different categories (2–3 weeks antepartum, 1–3 weeks and 2.5–3 months of lactation) and 1-month-old calves on dairy nutrition. We were interested in the degree of correlation of vitamin E in plasma and RBCs within the individual categories. Blood on EDTA was collected from 61 cows and 12 calves. As a part of the haematological examination, we determined haematocrit (HCT) immediately after the collection. We determined vitamin E from plasma and RBCs by a standard HPLC method. We compared the results of vitamin E in plasma and RBCs and correlated them. The concentration of vitamin E in the plasma and RBCs was 6.98 and 3.45 μmol/l, respectively, in cows 2–3 weeks antepartum; 1–3 weeks of lactation it was 4.98 and 3.34; 2.5–3 months of lactation 11.76 and 2.80 μmol/l; and in the case of calves 12.07 and 6.29 μmol/l. Weak correlations were observed between vitamin E in plasma and the RBC concentrations in the antepartum category R2 = 0.2076; 1–3 weeks of lactation R2 = 0.0369; 2.5–3 months of lactation R2 = 0.2403 and calves on dairy nutrition R2 = 0.4628. Vitamin E concentrations in RBCs were shown to be more stable than in plasma, where the concentrations varied. It is possible that vitamin E in RBCs could tell us more about the longer-term reserves of vitamin E in the organism. The highest concentration of vitamin E in plasma and RBCs, as well as a stronger correlation was found in calves.


This study was supported by the grant FVL/ILLEK/ITA 2020, University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Czech Republic.


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