What to do against oxidative stress?
High-performance dairy cows constantly need to adapt their metabolism to the physiological changes during the transition period and lactation phases. This huge metabolic performance makes them susceptible to oxidative stress. Dr. Antje Holthausen describes what oxidative stress exactly is and what can be done against it.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) permanently accumulate during energy metabolism as side-products of energy generation within the cells, i.e. while "burning" nutrients by means of inhaled oxygen. These ROS can cause a great deal of damage in biological systems if they wrench electrons from sensitive molecules or bond with biomolecules. The mutated biomolecules can then often no longer fulfil the intended task. In the best case they are discovered, degraded and replaced by a new molecule. In the worst case the mutated molecule damages the cell to such an extent that it dies or mutates.
In order to prevent this, there is an antioxidative protection system (also known as endogenous radical defence system) which fights the ROS and thus protects the body's own cells. A variety of substances with direct and indirect antioxidative effect are thus involved in this process. Vitamin E is one of the most important natural representatives of the endogenous radical defence system. It is located directly in the cell walls where it protects the unsaturated fatty acids of the cell membranes against oxidation.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Lohmann Animal Health.