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Dynamics of vitamin A in grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) mothers and pups throughout lactation
Debier, C.; Pomeroy, P.P.; Van Wouwe, N.; Mignolet, E.; Baret, P.V.; Larondelle, Y. (2002). Dynamics of vitamin A in grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) mothers and pups throughout lactation. Can. J. Zool. 80(7): 1262-1273. dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z02-107
In: Canadian Journal of Zoology = Revue canadienne de zoologie. National Research Council: Ottawa. ISSN 0008-4301, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Debier, C., more
  • Pomeroy, P.P., more
  • Van Wouwe, N.

Abstract
    Vitamin A concentrations were measured in milk and serum of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) mothers and in the serum of their pups sampled 2–6 times between parturition and weaning on the Isle of May, Scotland, in 1998 and 2000. Changes in serum vitamin A concentration were also followed in pups during the postweaning fast. During their 18-day lactation period, fasting mothers produced a milk very rich in vitamin A. Concentrations of 6.3 ± 1.6 and 10.1 ± 4.5 mg/kg (mean ± SD) were measured in colostrum (day 0) and in milk at late lactation (11 days), respectively. Surprisingly, the vitamin A concentration increased at late lactation, even when it was expressed per unit of milk lipids. The vitamin A concentration in mothers' serum was 329 ± 65 μg/L at day 0. The concentration dropped at day 3 (228 ± 21 μg/L serum), but increased to 400 ± 121 μg/L serum at late lactation. At birth, the serum vitamin A concentration of pups (111 ± 5 μg/L) was much lower than that of their mothers, revealing limited placental transfer. The vitamin A concentration in pup serum then increased throughout lactation to 499 ± 96 μg/L at the end of the nursing period. At that time, the pups' serum was more concentrated than the mothers' serum, reflecting the great vitamin A ingestion. After weaning, serum vitamin A concentrations of pups dropped over several days and then stabilized at 336 ± 45 μg/L.

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