Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Biochemistry

Committee Chair(s)

Deloy G. Hendricks


Deloy G. Hendricks


Ethelwyn B. Wilcox


LeGrand Ellis


Anthon C. Ernstrom


Margaret Merkley


Two trials were conducted using 48 infant pigs of both sexes. Pigs were taken from the sow when three to seven days old and placed in wire-bottomed metal cages by pairs. Animals in the first trial received synthetic diets containing 100 or 1000 international units of ergocalciferol and 1000 or 4000 international units of retinyl acetate or four or sixteen milligrams of beta carotene per kilogram of feed. Baby pigs in the second trial received the same synthetic diet plus 1000 international units of ergocalciferol (D2) or cholecalciferol (D3) and 2000 international units of vitamin A or eight milligrams of beta carotene per kilogram of feed.

Neither growth nor feed efficiency were influenced by diet, but in Trial II, pigs receiving vitamin D2 showed higher gains per kilogram of diet than pigs fed vitamin D3.

The weight and density of ribs and femurs did not show any differences due to diet. Different sources and levels of vitamins A and D did not effect strength characteristics of femurs. However, trends indicated 1000 IU of vitamin D in Trial I and vitamin D2 in Trial II slightly increased the bone ash in comparison with beta carotene and in Trial II retinyl acetate with vitamin D2 resulted in the maximum amount of mineral deposition in bone. Liver as a percent of body weight was higher in pigs treated with beta carotene than in those fed retinyl acetate either with vitamin D2 or D3.

Serum total sulfur was increased in pigs receiving vitamin D3 in Trial II. Inorganic sulfur in Trial I was lowered significantly by high levels of vitamin D and either low beta carotene, low retinyl acetate, or high beta carotene.

There were not significant effects of level and source of vitamin A or D on uronic acid or total sulfur concentration in cartilage. However, on the high level of dietary vitamin D, uronic acid in cartilage was slightly increased (Trial I). Trends indicated that beta carotene increased and high levels of vitamin D lowered total sulfur in cartilage (Trial I).