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Journal of Animal Science





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The objective of this study was to determine whether feeding high doses of vitamin D3 7 d before slaughter would increase muscle Ca++ levels and result in more tender loin chops. Market lambs (n = 4 callipyge and 4 normal in Exp. 1, and n = 16 calipyge and 16 normal in Exp. 2) were randomly and equally assigned to feeding groups based on callipyge genotype and experimental diet, (vitamin D3 or control). Serum Ca++, muscle Ca++, Warner-Bratzler shear force, and troponin-T degradation data were analyzed. In Exp. 1, vitamin D3 was supplemented at 1 or 2 x 10(6) IU/d. The 2 x 10(6) IU dose resulted in the greatest serum Ca++ reponse and was chosen for Exp. 2. In Exp. 2, serum Ca++ concentration was higher (P < 0.05) for normal and callipyge lambs fed the vitamin D3 diet than for the control diet fed lambs. Muscle Ca++ concentrations, however, were not higher (P = 0.28) for the vitamin D3-fed lambs. Warner-Bratzler shear values were higher (P < 0.05) for callipyge than for normal lambs, but no differences were observed with vitamin D3 supplementation. These data were supported by results from Western blot analysis of troponin-T degradation, in which no differences were observed for vitamin D3 vs control diet lambs at 14 d postmortem. This experiment showed that feeding 2 x 10(6) IU/d of vitamin D3 to market lambs, callipyge or normal, raised serum Ca++ concentration, but did not increase muscle Ca++ concentration. This lack of response in muscle Ca++ was likely the reason that no differences were observed for Warner-Bratzler shear force values or troponin-T degradation data between the vitamin D3 and control loin chops. A higher dose of vitamin D3 may be required to improve tenderness.


This article is from Journal of Animal Science 79 (2001): 2086–2091. Posted with permission.

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American Society of Animal Science



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