Effects of field bean (Vicia faba L. var. minor) dietary supplementation on plasma thyroid hormones, insulin, insulin-like growth factor-1 concentrations and mohair characteristics in growing Angora goat kids

G. Acuti, L. Todini, A. Malfatti, M. Antonini, O. Barbato, M. Trabalza-Marinucci

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Twenty-two Angora kids were used to study the effect of a dietary supplementation with field bean (Vicia faba L. var. minor) on hair follicle activity, mohair characteristics and plasma total thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), insulin (INS) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations. At birth, their mothers were divided in two groups (S: supplemented, C: control), the S group being supplemented with 300 g/head/day of whole field bean. At weaning, diet of kids from S group was supplemented with 80 g/head/day of whole field bean. At weaning, secondary hair follicle activity (S: 0.91 ± 0.01, C: 0.84 ± 0.02, p < 0.01) and staple length (S: 5.82 ± 0.13 cm, C: 5.16 ± 0.14 cm, p < 0.001) were greater in the S group. At 155 days of age, secondary fibre diameter (S: 16.54 ± 0.35 μm, C: 18.09 ± 0.31 μm, p < 0.01) was higher in the C kids. Concentrations of total plasma T4 and T3 were higher (p < 0.001) in S (120 ± 12 and 4.87 ± 0.92 ng/ml respectively) than in C kids (92 ± 8 and 2.97 ± 0.77 ng/ml respectively). At weaning, T4 values were negatively correlated (p < 0.05) with the secondary fibre diameter and the T3/T4 ratio was positively correlated (p < 0.05) with the secondary to primary hair follicle ratio. At 155 days of age, both T3 and T3/T4 values were positively correlated (p < 0.01) with staple length. Plasma INS (0.11 ± 0.03 ng/ml) and total IGF-1 concentrations (232 ± 13 ng/ml) were not affected by diet. Improvements of diet quality in kids positively affected fibre diameter and length and follicle activity rate. We suggest that increased circulating thyroid hormones concentrations, but not those of INS and IGF-1, may contribute to the beneficial actions of nutritional supplementation on anatomical growth and mohair production of kids. © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456 - 466
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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