Daryoush Babazadeh1*, Seyed Amin Razavi1 , Wafaa A. Abd El-Ghany 2 , and Paul F Cotter3
1Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
2Department of Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
3Cotter Laboratory, Arlington, MA, USA
* Corresponding author: Daryoush Babazadeh, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the most effective vitamins in the musculoskeletal structure and immune system of farm animals is Vitamin D. The widespread risk of Vitamin D deficiency states is known widely resulting in autoimmune diseases, diabetes, rickets, metabolic bone diseases, and cancers. The aim of this review is to address the subject of Vitamin D deficiency in farm animals and the role of vitamin D in health and deficiency states. Although Vitamin D deficiency is generally defined as < 20 ng/mL in serum, but this level remains to be discussed. Vitamin D synthesis in the skin is the major source of Vitamin D in the body and is influenced by genetic and several environmental factors, such as length of sun exposure, season, and latitude. Sun exposure might be limited during winter in some areas, such as northern latitudes. Thus, food sources can play essential roles in supplying the demand for vitamin D. Some animal species have more sensitivity to Vitamin D deficiency due to their different metabolism, homeostasis, and adaptation to specific diets and environments. Farm animal species, such as cattle, pigs, llamas, Alpacas, small ruminants, and broiler chickens are more sensitive to Vitamin D deficiency. However, some farm animal species including horses and donkeys usually have a low risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, the management of Vitamin D deficiency and its consequences are critical in some species. The inclusion of Vitamin D in the body of farm animals depended on farming practices, sun exposure in different seasons, and the content of diets. Due to the diversity of species, regulation of many ongoing processes in animals’ bodies, the complexity of Vitamin D metabolism, and different metabolites, more studies are necessary to find the vital roles of vitamin D in the prevention and control of diseases in farm animals.
The prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency is very common in humans and farm animals1,2. Since one of the primary roles of Vitamin D in farm animals is its participation in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus, Vitamin D deficiency results in bone diseases, such as rickets in farm animals, and severely affects immunity and cell differentiation2,3. Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin as a result of sun exposure which is the major source of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D3 synthesis depends on sunlight factors such as season and day-length and latitude can be limiting4,5. Vitamin D insufficiency could increase in animals due to decreased sunlight exposure, and resulting in musculoskeletal disorders6. Sun exposure might be limited during winter in some areas, such as northern latitudes, therefore intake from food sources of Vitamin D such as season and day-length and latitude can be limiting4,5. Vitamin D insufficiency could increase in animals due to decreased sunlight exposure, and resulting in musculoskeletal disorders6. Sun exposure might be limited during winter in some areas, such as northern latitudes, therefore intake from food sources of Vitamin D becomes essential in these areas7. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, and cancers in humans4. One of the natural contents of Vitamin D is fatty fish. In comparison to fatty fish, meat and dairy product have a lower content of Vitamin D, but their contribution to the total Vitamin D intake is significant in places with a high intake of meat and dairy products. For instance, dairy product intake contributes to about 12% of the total Vitamin D intake in Denmark8.