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Dairy cattle have 70 ng of vitamin D if supplementation equal to 5,000 IU for human – Dec 2016

Vitamin D status of dairy cattle: Outcomes of current practices in the dairy industry

Journal of Dairy Science, Vol 99, # 12, December 2016, Pages 10150–10160, http://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-11727
Corwin D. Nelson*, cdnelson at ufl.edu, , John D. Lippolis†, Timothy A. Reinhardt†, Randy E. Sacco†, Jessi L. Powell*, Mary E. Drewnoski‡, Matthew O’Neil#, Donald C. Beitz#, William P. Weiss§

VitaminDWiki Summary

30,000 to 50,000 IU of vitamin D3/d
Near or above 70 ng/mL regardless of season or housing
Vets supplement 1.5 to 2.5 times the National Research Council recommendation
Approximate dairy cattle weight = 1200 lbs = approx 8X more than average adult human
So, 40,000 IU per day for dairy cattle would be = 5,000 IU for average adult

See also VitaminDWiki

Overview Veterinary and vitamin D has the following

Veterinary category has 123 items

Vets give 3X vitamin D than the US govt recommends for animal OR humans

Farm Vets are paid when their "patients" are healthy,
   vs doctors who are paid only when "patients" become sick

Zoos which have added UV or supplemented their feed with vitamin D have become much more successful at breading in captivity*

in a test in 2008 baby chicks are given a single dose of 12 hours of UV were found to decrease the level of rickets from 40% to less than 2%

Cows are routinely given 30 IU per kilogram (which would be 10,000 IU for a 150 lb person)

Same information is available on Cattle need 66 IU of vitamin D per pound
The US RDA of vitamin D for cows is 13 IU per kilogram (which would be 4,300 IU for a 150 lb 'cow')

Virtually all US farmers who raise livestock use feed which is supplemented with vitamin D
Merick Vet Manual supplement if not have UV or sunlight
Parrot-like birds are given 600 IU per pound of feed

The cow experts probably base their ideas on

- what is needed,
- what actually works,
- what is cost effective (vitamin D for a cow costs about $1/year), and
- what does not have ANY long-term bad side-affects

Vet-grade Vitamin D: $50 million for the entire US population for a year.

Cow owners use really low cost vitamin D
Vitamin D costs the owner $1/cow for an entire year for a dose rate which is effectively 10,000 IU for a normal weight human.
Assuming that you want to give say 7,000 IU of vitamin D to every person in the US
And since a person weighs about 1/5 that of a cow, 7,000 IU vitamin D would be about 16 cents per year (vet grade)
Thus the cost of vet-grade vitamin D for the entire US population would be approximately
311 million * 16 cents = $50 million


The need for vitamin D supplementation of dairy cattle has been known for the better part of the last century and is well appreciated by dairy producers and nutritionists. Whether current recommendations and practices for supplemental vitamin D are meeting the needs of dairy cattle, however, is not well known. The vitamin D status of animals is reliably indicated by the concentration of the 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] metabolite in serum or plasma, with a concentration of 30 ng/mL proposed as a lower threshold for sufficiency.
The objective of this study was to determine the typical serum 25(OH)D concentrations of dairy cattle across various dairy operations. The serum 25(OH)D concentration of 702 samples collected from cows across various stages of lactation, housing systems, and locations in the United States was 68 ± 22 ng/mL (mean ± standard deviation), with the majority of samples between 40 and 100 ng/mL.
Most of the 12 herds surveyed supplemented cows with 30,000 to 50,000 IU of vitamin D3/d, and average serum 25(OH)D of cows at 100 to 300 DIM [Days in milk] in each of those herds was near or above 70 ng/mL regardless of season or housing.
In contrast, average serum 25(OH)D of a herd supplementing with 20,000 IU/d was 42 ± 15 ng/mL, with 22% below 30 ng/mL.
Cows in early lactation (0 to 30 d in milk) also had lower serum 25(OH)D than did mid- to late-lactation cows (57 ± 17 vs. 71 ± 20 ng/mL, respectively).
Serum 25(OH)D of yearling heifers receiving 11,000 to 12,000 IU of vitamin D3/d was near that of cows at 76 ± 15 ng/mL.
Serum 25(OH)D concentrations of calves, on the other hand, was 15 ± 11 ng/mL at birth and remained near or below 15 ng/mL through 1 mo of age if they were fed pasteurized waste milk with little to no summer sun exposure.
In contrast, serum 25(OH)D of calves fed milk replacer containing 6,600 and 11,000 IU of vitamin D2/kg of dry matter were 59 ± 8 and 98 ± 33 ng/mL, respectively, at 1 mo of age. Experimental data from calves similarly indicated that serum 25(OH)D achieved at approximately 1 mo of age would increase 6 to 7 ng/mL for every 1,000 IU of vitamin D3/kg of dry matter of milk replacer.
In conclusion, vitamin D status of dairy cattle supplemented with vitamin D3 according to typical practices, about 1.5 to 2.5 times the National Research Council recommendation, is sufficient as defined by serum 25(OH)D concentrations.
Newborn calves and calves fed milk without supplemental vitamin D3, however, are prone to deficiency.

Publisher want $36 for the PDF

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