The possible effect of beta-carotene supplementation upon peripubertal changes in serum concentrations across time for total protein (TP), urea (UR), cholesterol (CHOL), and glucose (GLU) around puberty onset was evaluated. The experiment was carried out from June to November and prepubertal goats (n = 17, 3 months old, 7/8 Saanen-Alpine, 1/8 Criollo) were randomly assigned to: (1) beta-carotene group (BC) (n = 9; 17.3 ± 1.0 kg live weight (LW), 3.3 ± 0.12 body condition score (BCS), oral supplementation with 50 mg beta-carotene per day per goat) and (2) control group (CC) (n = 8; 16.1 ± 1.0 kg LW, 3.1 ± 0.12 BCS). Serum blood samples were collected along the experiment to quantify progesterone concentrations (P4) through radioimmunoassay, while TP, UR, CHOL, and GLU through spectrophotometric analyses. No differences (P > 0.05) occurred between treatments regarding LW and BCS, and TP (67.6 ± 2.4 g/l), UR (3.8 ± 0.17 mmol/l), GLU (5.06 ± 0.09 mmol/l), and CHOL (1.62 ± 0.07 mmol/l) concentrations. However, while a treatment × time interaction occurred between treatments for TP, GLU, CHOL (P < 0.05) favouring the BC group, an increased serum UR levels occurred in the CC group. Nonetheless, such general serum metabolite profile was related neither to the age (215.7 vs 226.5 ± 6.6 days; P > 0.5) nor to the percentage (44.4 vs 25.0 ± 17.0%; P > 0.05) of goats reaching puberty in the BC and CC groups, respectively. Results should help speed-up goat productivity while may also engender key management applications to different animal industries.
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