Effects of deficiency in animals

Human Nutrition 3(3+0)
Lesson 22 : Vitamin E

Effects of deficiency in animals

  • Reproductive failure: In the female rat fed on vitamin E deficient diets, foetal death and resorption take place. There are degenerative changes in the uterus. However, the vascular system of the embryo also undergoes degeneration. In the male rat, irreversible testicular degeneration occurs in vitamin E deficiency.

  • Liver necrosis: Necrosis of the liver produced in rats fed on yeast is prevented by vitamin E.

  • Erythrocyte haemolysis: In vitamin E deficient animals, the erythocytes readily undergo haemolysis when treated with hydrogen peroxide. This is prevented by vitamin E.

  • Anaemia in the monkey: Monkeys fed on vitamin E deficient diets develop anaemia. This is due to lack of haematopoiesis in the bone marrow rather than from excessive red cell destruction. Administration of vitamin E cures the anaemia.

  • Muscular dystrophy: Rabbits, guinea pigs, monkeys and chicks fed on vitamin E deficient diets develop muscular dystrophy which is cured and prevented by vitamin E.

  • Yellow fat, ceroid and lipofuscins: Peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acids and formation of yellow to brown pigments occur in animals fed vitamin E deficient diets containing fats rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. The colour is due to a fat soluble yellow pigment and a dark brown fat-insoluble pigment. The latter pigment known as ceroid has been found to occur in the uterine muscle, skeletal muscle and sex glands in vitamin E deficient rats.

Last modified: Saturday, 17 March 2012, 6:31 AM