Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 43, Number 5, September-October 2003
Page(s) 397 - 408
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 43 (2003) 397-408
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2003034

Vitamin E in immunity and reproductive performance in pigs

Araceli Pinelli-Saavedra

Department of Animal Nutrition, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C., Carretera a la Victoria km 0.6, Apdo. Postal No. 1735, 83000 Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
(Received 28 January 2003; accepted 28 August 2003)

This review is focused on studies of vitamin E in immunity and reproductive performance in pigs. There are reports that vitamin E can have a positive effect on some parameters of the immune system in pigs. The optimal level of vitamin E needed to improve the immune system has not been determined because of several factors such as the composition of the diet, feed consumption, the rate of animal growth and living conditions or stress. Moreover, the way of action of vitamin E in enhancing immunity is still unclear but according to reports it may have antioxidant properties as well as an immunomodulator effect. In several studies, an increase in litter size and a reduction of preweaning pigletmortality have resulted from increasing dietary vitamin E intake during gestation or by intramuscular injection of vitamin E and/or selenium. However, according to reports, the positive effect of vitamin E on reproductive performance remains unclear due to the low number of animals used in most experiments.

Key words: vitamin E / pig / immunity / reproductive performance / placental transfer

Correspondence and reprints: Araceli Pinelli-Saavedra

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2003