Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Dairy and Food Science

First Advisor

Johan Osorio


antioxidant, carnosic acid, dairy cow, peripartum, transition period


The transition period is commonly defined as the last 3 wk before parturition to 3 wk after parturition. It is the most critical stage of the lactation cycle of high-producing dairy cows. The period consists of a complex interplay of metabolic and hormonal adaptations, inflammation, and immune activation. During the transition period, dairy cows commonly face oxidative stress, an underlying factor for dysfunctional immune response and enhanced inflammation, which can further increase the susceptibility of dairy cattle to health disorders and decrease productivity. In the last few decades, there has been an increased interest in studying alternative natural compounds with antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties as supplements for food-producing animals such as dairy cows. The aim of this project was to evaluate the effects of carnosic acid, a phenolic diterpene found in herbs from the Labiatae family, known for its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, on both in vivo and in vitro models. The first objective was to evaluate the supplementation of carnosic acid on performance parameters and blood biomarkers of transition dairy cows. The findings of this study revealed that carnosic acid promoted positive responses on inflammation and expression of oxidative stress biomarkers during the period of infusions. In addition, carnosic acid tended to increase lactation performance (e.g., milk yield and energy corrected milk), although the mechanisms responsible for this response remain unclear. The second objective was to evaluate the protective effects of carnosic acid on cultured mouse hepatocytes in response to oxidative challenge. This in vitro study revealed that carnosic acid promoted increased viability and antioxidant capacity through superoxide dismutase activity of mouse hepatocytes subjected to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative cell damage. In summary, the presented results reveal potential benefits of providing antioxidants such as carnosic acid during periods of oxidative challenge, such as the peripartal period of dairy cows.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dairy cattle.
Dairy cattle -- Parturition.
Dietary supplements -- Physiological effect.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Dairy Science Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright