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Assessing the protective effect of bentonite against lead toxicity in growing lambs


The objective of the present experiment was to investigate the effect of bentonite supplementation in lead (Pb)-exposed lambs on serum Pb, Ca, P, Cu, Zn, and Fe concentrations, blood hematological parameters, and hepatic enzymes. Twenty Zandi male lambs (initial BW, 17.5 ± 1.6 kg) were randomly assigned to one of the four treatments: (1) control (no Pb or bentonite), (2) 15 mg/kg DM Pb as Pb acetate with no bentonite, (3) 15 mg/kg DM Pb as Pb acetate with 1.5% bentonite, and (4) 15 mg/kg DM Pb as Pb acetate with 3% bentonite. The experiment lasted after 90 days. Lead intake resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in serum Fe and an increase in serum Pb, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities (P < 0.05). Bentonite supplementation at 1.5 or 3% of DM decreased blood Pb concentration (P < 0.01) in lambs fed diets containing Pb and reduced (P < 0.05) blood concentration of Cu and Zn compared to control group (P < 0.01). However, the hematological parameters were not affected by any of the treatments. Our results showed that the dietary supplementation of bentonite could protect lambs against lead toxicity.

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The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the University of Tehran for this research.

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Correspondence to Mohammad Ali Norouzian.

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Azadbakht, S., Norouzian, M.A. & Khadem, A.A. Assessing the protective effect of bentonite against lead toxicity in growing lambs. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 27484–27489 (2017).

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  • Lead
  • Bentonite
  • Hematological parameters
  • Hepatic enzymes
  • Lamb