The Effects of Plasma Vitamin C and Ceruloplasmin Levels and Exogen Vitamin C Supplementation on Reproduction in Sheep


Abstract: The effects of vitamin C on progesterone and oestradiol 17b synthesis, and fertility rate were studied in Merino sheep. A total of 60 sheep, aged between 2 and 7 years, of which 30 had low, and the other 30 had high plasma vitamin C levels were used. Each low and high vitamin C group was divided into 2 subgroups. Each subgroup had equal numbers of sheep. Subgroups 2 and 4 served as controls in the low and high vitamin C groups, respectively. 500 mg of vitamin C was injected intramuscularly into the subgroups 1 and 3 in the low and high vitamin C level groups, respectively. Plasma vitamin C and ceruloplasmin levels were determined using spectrophotometric methods. Plasma progesterone and oestradiol 17b levels were determined using the microtitration enzyme immunoassay technique. Although vitamin C levels were low during the sexual cycles in all groups, there was an increase with the start of pregnancy. On the other hand, the changes in the plasma ceruloplasmin levels were irregular. The low and high oestradiol 17b levels of the low and high vitamin C groups showed the importance of vitamin C in steroid hormone synthesis. There was a positive correlation between ascorbic acid levels and body weight of the mother sheep and new-born. The vitamin C and progesterone increases were observed in the sheep pregnant with twins. It was concluded that exogen vitamin C increases the fertility rate along with body weight of pregnant sheep and new-born.

Keywords: Vitamin C, ceruloplasmin, progesterone, oestradiol 17b, reproduction, sheep

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