Twenty calves were placed on study at 3 days of age and were placed according to birth order into one of two groups: SS, which received 0.05% BW sodium zeolite A (SZA) added to their milk replacer, and CO, which received only milk replacer. Blood samples were taken on days 0, 30, and 60 for osteocalcin (OC) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD) analysis. On day 60, the calves were euthanized, and synovial fluid, articular cartilage, and both fused metacarpals were collected for bone quality analyses such as architecture and mechanical properties, mineral composition, and glycosaminoglycan concentration. There were no differences in OC concentrations because of treatment (p=0.12), and CO calves had lower DPD concentrations than SS calves (p=0.01), but the OC-to-DPD ratio was not different between treatments (p=0.98). No differences in bone architecture or mechanical properties were detected. SZA supplementation increased cortical bone (p=0.0002) and articular cartilage (p=0.05) aluminum content. Glycosaminoglycan concentrations were not different in synovial fluid or cartilage. Supplementation of SZA appeared to alter the rate of bone turnover without altering bone strength. Aluminum concentrations in the bone and cartilage increased, which may be a concern, although the long-term consequences of such remain to be determined.
- Sodium zeolite A