Vitamin A and marbling attributes: Intramuscular fat hyperplasia effects in cattle

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Kruk, Zbigniew A
Bottema, Murk Jan
Reyes-Veliz, Luisa
Forder, Rebecca
Pitchford, Wayne
Bottema, Cynthia D K
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© 2017 Elsevier.
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Twenty Angus steers were fed a diet low in β-carotene and vitamin A for 10 months. Ten steers were supplemented with vitamin A weekly, while the other ten steers did not receive any additional vitamin A. The results demonstrated that the restriction of vitamin A intake increased intramuscular fat (IMF) by 46%. This was a function of the total number of marbling flecks increasing by 22% and the average marbling fleck size increasing by 14%. Vitamin A restriction resulted in marbling flecks that were less branched (22%) and slightly more round (4%) with an increased minor axis length (7%). However, restricting vitamin A did not affect the size of the intramuscular or subcutaneous adipocyte cells or the subcutaneous fat depth. The results suggest that vitamin A affects the amount of marbling and other attributes of the marbling flecks due to hyperplasia rather than hypertrophy. This may explain why vitamin A restriction specifically affects IMF rather than subcutaneous fat deposition.
© 2017 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Cattle, beef, intramuscular fat, adipocytes, computer image analysis, retinoids
Kruk, Z. A., Bottema, M. J., Reyes-Veliz, L., Forder, R. E. A., Pitchford, W. S., & Bottema, C. D. K. (2018). Vitamin A and marbling attributes: Intramuscular fat hyperplasia effects in cattle. Meat Science, 137, 139–146.