Beneficial effects of maternal vitamin E supplementation on the antioxidant system of the neonate chick brain

H. L. Tsai, Sam K.C. Chang, Y. F. Lin, S. J. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the laying stage which is a critical period for chick survival. We investigated the relationship of neonatal chick performance, brain antioxidant status and vitamin E supplementation level in hens. Starting at 17 weeks, hens were randomly divided into five groups. The control group received a basal diet without supplemental vitamin E (VE, dl-α-tocopherol acetate). Other groups received the same basal diet supplemented with vitamin E (40, 80, 120 and 160 mg/kg) through growth to egg production. Hens were artificially inseminated at 28 weeks of age and egg yolks were collected at day two. All remaining eggs were hatched. Yolk vitamin E content, hatchability and fertility of eggs were evaluated. Brains of the newly hatched chicks were further evaluated for their oxidative stress status, antioxidative status and vitamin E levels. Increased reproductive performance was observed in fertility and hatchability in the group supplemented at 40 mg/kg. Egg yolk and neonatal brain α-tocopherol was highest in eggs from hens fed 120 mg/kg and 80 mg/kg supplemental vitamin E, respectively. Brain MDA, ROS and iron levels were significantly higher in unsupplemented hens (p<0.01). SOD activity was significantly higher in the group supplemented at 160 mg/kg than in all other groups. We concluded that maternal supplementation of vitamin E had beneficial effects on fertility, hatchability of eggs, neonatal brain oxidative status and SOD activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-231
Number of pages7
JournalAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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