Effect of Boron as an Antidote on Dry Matter Intake, Nutrient Utilization and Fluorine Balance in Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Exposed to High Fluoride Ration


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Abstract

It is well known that excessive accumulation of fluorides can exert toxic effects on various tissues and organs so as to severely damage the health and production of animals. The aim of this study was to determine beneficial effect of boron on nutrient utilization in buffalo calves exposed to high fluoride (F) ration. For this purpose, we used three groups of four male Murrah buffalo calves (body weight 98–100 kg, aged 6–8 month) each. Control animal was given only basal diet and concentrate mixture. However, treatment I animals were fed basal diet, concentrate mixture, and F [as NaF, 60 ppm of dry matter (DM)]. The treatment II animals were fed basal diet, concentrate mixture, F (as NaF, 60 ppm of DM), and B (as sodium tetraborate, 140 ppm of DM). After 90 days of experimental feeding, a metabolism trial of 7 days duration was conducted to study the treatment effect on nutrient utilization of proximate nutrients, absorption, excretion, and retention of N, Ca, P, Fe, Zn, Cu, and F. Dietary F significantly (p < 0.05) depressed the dry matter intake and increased the apparent digestibility, absorption, and retention of F. However, boron supplementation significantly (p < 0.05) decreased the apparent digestibility, absorption, and retention of F and improved the dry matter intake, fecal excretion, and percent of absorbed F excreted via urine. Apparent digestibility of proximate nutrients (viz. DM, crude protein, crude fiber, ether extract, and nitrogen free extract) was unaffected on either F or F+B treatment. However, absorption and excretion of N, Ca, P, Fe, Zn, and Cu were affected significantly (p < 0.05) on F or F+B treatment. These findings suggest that fluoride-containing diet for short duration has effect on nutrient utilization, and boron at 140-ppm dose level, in general, antagonized the absorption and retention of F and also improved the feed intake in buffalo calves.

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