Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect of electric and magnetic fields (60 Hz) on production, and levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1, in lactating, pregnant cows subjected to short days. med./bio.

Published in: J Dairy Sci 2002; 85 (11): 2843-2849

Aim of study (acc. to author and editor)

To study the effect of electric and magnetic fields (60 Hz) on production, and levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1, in lactating, pregnant cows subjected to short days.
If electromagnetic field exposure resembles light, long exposures to electromagnetic fields will emulate long days. Therefore, an increase in dry matter intake and milk yield concomitant with higher concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), in the absence of an increase in growth hormone would be expected.

Background/further details

There is evidence indicating that seasonal changes in IGF-1 concentrations are driven by changes in photoperiod. Previous studies have shown that dry matter intake and milk production increase in dairy cattle in response to long day photoperiods, and this has been found in association with increased IGF-1, but not growth hormone.
All animals were maintained under short day conditions (8 h light, 16 h dark). Two groups of eight lactating, pregnant cows were exposed to electromagnetic fields for 16 h per day (8 h light period plus first 8 h of the dark period) in either of two sequences. Each sequence consisted of three consecutive 28 days periods. For the first group: 28 days non-exposed, followed by 28 days exposed and then 28 days non-exposed (OFF-ON-OFF). For the second group: 28 days exposed, 28 days non-exposed, and 28 days exposed (ON-OFF-ON).

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 60 Hz
Exposure duration: 16 h/day; on/off/on or off/on/off exposure sequence; each event lasting 28 days

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 60 Hz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration 16 h/day; on/off/on or off/on/off exposure sequence; each event lasting 28 days
Additional info no details available
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • not specified
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 30 µT unspecified unspecified - -
electric field strength 10 kV/m unspecified unspecified - -

Reference articles

  • Burchard JF et al. (1999): Macro- and trace element concentrations in blood plasma and cerebrospinal fluid of dairy cows exposed to electric and magnetic fields.

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Investigated organ system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Dry matter intake and plasma IGF-1 were increased during exposure. IGF-1 concentration was comparable to that reported in experiments with artifical long day photoperiods.
The mean growth hormone concentration was not affected, but a "treatment x hour interaction" was found, with growth hormone lower for the exposed animals during the first 16 h of the sampling period, and higher for the last 8 h (24 h measurement). Overall, the milk yield or its components were not affected by electromagnetic field exposure, but milk yield was significantly higher for the exposed animals during week 4 of treatment (at the end of the experimental period).

Study character:

Study funded by

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