Effects of dietary gossypol consumption on metabolic homeostasis and reproductive endocrine function in beef heifers and cows. Academic Article uri icon


  • Our objectives were to determine the effects of incremental increases in dietary gossypol on metabolic homeostasis and reproductive endocrine function in postpubertal beef heifers and the long-term effects of elevated dietary gossypol on various metabolic and reproductive endocrine characteristics in mature cows. In Exp. 1, heifers (n = 6/group) were fed either 0, .5, 2.5, 5, 10, or 20 g.animal-1 x d-1 of dietary free gossypol for 62 d. Erythrocyte membrane osmotic fragility was increased (P < .0001) in both the 10- and 20-g groups. Slight alterations in plasma concentrations of sorbitol dehydrogenase and K+ were also detected in the latter group. Treatment did not affect ADG, body condition scores, or concentrations of progesterone during the estrous cycle; however, mean concentrations of LH were higher (P < .001) in heifers fed 20 g/d of gossypol than in heifers in all other groups. In Exp. 2, lactating cows (n = 17) exhibiting regular estrous cycles were fed a control (no gossypol, n = 8) or high-gossypol (20 mg.kg BW-1 x d-1 free gossypol, n = 9) diet for 33 wk. Mean BW and body condition scores did not differ during the feeding period. Erythrocyte membrane fragility was greater (P < .05) in the high-gossypol than in the control group. Magnitude of the preovulatory LH surge, luteal phase concentrations of progesterone, follicular fluid concentrations of estradiol and progesterone, in vitro granulosa cell estradiol production, and 60-d pregnancy rates were similar between groups. The amounts of gossypol fed in these experiments are not likely to affect reproductive performance adversely in beef heifers or cows.

published proceedings

  • J Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Gray, M. L., Greene, L. W., & Williams, G. L.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Gray, ML||Greene, LW||Williams, GL

publication date

  • November 1993