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Rosenberg, S. J. von; Weber, G. M.; Erhardt, A.; Höller, U.; Wehr, U. A. and Rambeck, W. A. (2016): Tolerance evaluation of overdosed dietary levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 in growing piglets. In: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Vol. 100, No. 2: pp. 371-380

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Forty-eight, cross-bred (GLxLWxP) piglets were used in a 42-day tolerance trial to assess the effects of feeding diets supplemented with vitamin D or increasing levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D-3 (25-OH-D-3). Six-week-old piglets (24 castrate males, 24 females) were used. Two replicate groups of 6 piglets were randomized by weight and allocated to four dietary treatments. The control group (T1) was supplemented with 50g vitamin D-3/kg feed. The experimental groups received 25-OH-D-3 at the recommended dose (T2: 50g/kg=1x), at 250g/kg (T3: 5x) or at 500g/kg (T4: 10x) respectively. Feed intake and daily weight gain were measured weekly, and the animals were examined by a veterinarian daily. After 42days, body mass, blood, urine, bone and tissue samples were analysed and a pathology examination conducted. Dietary treatments had no significant effect on final body mass or daily weight gain. The 25-OH-D-3 plasma concentration in T1 was 17 +/- 3ng/ml (mean +/- SD) while the respective values of the experimental groups were significantly increased in T2, T3 and T4. Tissue concentrations of 25-OH-D-3 were higher in liver and muscle for T3 and T4 and in skin for T4 than in T1. However, neither gross pathology nor histology, nor blood and urine characteristics, nor bone parameters were affected by dietary treatments. Weight of organs as well as dry matter, ash and calcium content of kidneys remained unaffected by dietary 25-OH-D-3 intake. Furthermore, no changes were observed for general indicators of health. The results of this study demonstrated that feeding piglets with 25-OH-D-3 at 5 or 10 times the recommended level had no adverse effects on any of the biological parameters measured. It was concluded that 25-OH-D-3 can be regarded as a supplement with a very high safety margin when used at the recommended level.

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