Injectable Trace Minerals to Combat Aflatoxins in Dairy Cows

Aflatoxins are produced by some types of fungi. These toxins may be found on certain crops like corn, cottonseed, peanuts, and also tree nuts. Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are the main fungi that produce aflatoxins. According to an article on The Dairy Site, injectable trace minerals can help dairy cattle that ingest this type of toxin.

Aflatoxins are detrimental to the overall well-being of dairy cows. Their milk production goes down, they eat less, and they become lethargic. Some of these symptoms are related to oxidative stress. This causes free radicals to “bounce around” the cow’s system and damage cells in the process.

Researchers from the University of Illinois tried to combat the toxin by injecting trace minerals, as these counter the free radicals by allowing the body to manufacture more detoxifying enzymes. That will provide the liver with a better chance to fight the aflatoxin, shares Russell Pate, the lead author of the study and also a doctoral student at the University of Illinois’ Department of Animal Sciences. “Our idea for injecting is that it might help during a time when intake is impacted. If something is causing her to eat less, she’ll consume less of any diet-based mineral, too,” says Phil Cardoso, an assistant professor who co-authored the paper.

They injected cows with Multimin®90, which increased selenium and iron. This increased the activity of serum glutathione in the cow’s system. The subjects exhibited an improved immune response and reduced oxidative stress. Please note that it did not help with transference of aflatoxin to the milk. You can read the full article here.

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