Vitamin E controls listeria infections in turkeys, study shows

Vitamin E controls listeria infections in turkeys, study shows
Wednesday, February 09, 2005 Commentary Home

Vitamin E controls listeria infections in turkeys, study shows




- Staff writers
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News summary:
Source: http://www.voanews.com/SpecialEnglish/article.cfm?objectID=2FAB6C49-A791-4488-996F017863A9D866
  • Researchers say extra vitamin E fed to turkeys appears to help control infections from listeria.
  • People who eat foods that contain this bacteria can get listeriosis.
  • This disease is especially dangerous to pregnant women, newborn babies and people with weakened defenses.
  • The United States has more than two thousand cases of listeriosis each year.
  • Some cases have been linked to poultry products that have not been cooked enough.
  • The researchers found that vitamin E improved the ability of turkeys to fight the growth of listeria.
  • The findings could help other meat industries as well.
  • Irene Wesley led the study for the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • Researchers from Iowa State University and the University of Arkansas also took part.
  • The findings appeared in Poultry Science magazine earlier this year.
  • Vitamin E is found in oils from vegetables, grains and animals.
  • It helps protect some kinds of fatty acids that are necessary for healthy cells.
  • Vitamin E helps prevent oxygen from combining with these fats to cause damage to cells.
  • Turkeys need vitamin E for normal development.
  • But the scientists added extra amounts to the diet of two groups of turkeys.
  • Two other groups were not given any extra vitamin E. After six weeks, the researchers infected all the young turkeys with listeria.
  • The scientists then tested the birds for the presence of the bacteria over a period of time.
  • They say chickens and turkeys that receive added vitamin E develop more infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes.
  • The increased number of these cells appears to also help protect against other diseases that can be carried by birds.
  • Earlier tests at Iowa State showed that extra amounts of vitamin E can improve the quality of meat as well, and keep it fresh longer.
  • This VOA Special English Agriculture Report was written by Mario Ritter.

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