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When beef cattle experience immune challenges, they experience a whole host of symptoms that can quickly impact your bottom line. The impact of even a minor immune challenge can be significant to your production and profitability, including:

KemTRACE Chromium for Beef Immunity Challenges

Immune challenges put additional stress on beef animals. Energy expenditure to compensate for the effects of immune responses decreases energy available for productive purposes, such as daily gain and feed conversion. Supplementing chromium in beef cattle can help.

Immunity challenges = profit volatility

In order to combat an immune challenge, an active immune system in a Holstein steer requires more than two pounds of glucose over a 24-hour period. This means the glucose meant for economically relevant tissues will be redirected to support this immune response, reducing energy and glucose that can go to maintenance, reproduction, growth and performance.1

immune challenges require 2lbs of glucose


Immunity pyramid for beef


1. Helps fight immune challenges quicker

Data dive:

Acute phase response of steers to a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge

When overcoming an immunity challenge, glucose metabolism increases. This increases chromium utilization and ultimately leads to a chromium deficiency. Research conducted at Texas Tech University showed that diets supplemented with chromium propionate enhanced the acute phase response of steers to an immune challenge.2

Acute phase response


15-pound improvement in challenge body weight and 0.25° F reduction in rectal temperature.

2. Helps reduce the need to treat cattle

Data dive:

The effects of chromium on performance and morbidity

Additional studies examining stressed beef cattle reported that the number of steers treated at least once tended to linearly decrease with increased chromium supplementation.3

Performance and morbidity chart


Supplementation of chromium propionate reduced the number of steers treated at least once by 71.1% compared to non-supplemented steers.3


KemTRACE® Chromium — the first product of its kind on the market — is a water soluble, highly bioavailable, organic source of chromium propionate that helps stabilize insulin receptors in cattle. This improves glucose utilization for increased energy and proper cell function, resulting in better immunity.

KemTRACE Chromium is supported by more than 20 years of Kemin research and is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-reviewed form of chromium propionate. See the KemTRACE Chromium mode of action at work.

How KemTRACE Chromium Works

Ready to see how KemTRACE Chromium can improve immunity in your beef operation?

Start with these resources.

KemTRACE Chromium Beef Immunity One Pag...
KemTRACE Chromium Beef Mud Stress One P...
Effects of Chromium Propionate Suppleme...
The Effect of Chromium Propionate Suppl...
Estimating Glucose Requirements of an A...
The Effect of Insulin Sensitivity on He...



1S. K. Kvidera, E. A. Horst, M. Abuajamieh, E. J. Mayorga, M. V. Sanz Fernandez, and L. H. Baumgard. Technical note: A procedure to estimate glucose requirements of an activated immune system in steers. J. Anim. Sci. 2016.94:4591–4599.
2Kluger, M.J. and B.A. Rothenburg. 1979. Fever and reduced iron: Their interaction as a host defense response to bacterial infection. Science 203(4378):374–376.
3Burdick NC, Bernhard BC, Carroll JA, Rathmann RJ, Johnson BJ. Enhancement of the acute phase response to a lipopolysaccharide challenge in steers supplemented with chromium. Innate Immunity. 2012 Aug;18(4):592-601. doi: 10.1177/1753425911428964. Epub 2011 Dec 16.
4Bernhard BC, Burdick NC, Rounds W, Rathmann RJ, Carroll JA, Finck DN, Jennings MA, Young TR, Johnson BJ. Chromium supplementation alters the performance and health of feedlot cattle during the receiving period and enhances their metabolic response to and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge. J. Anim. Sci. 90:3879-3888.
5Palsson-McDermott, E. M., and L. A. O’Neill. 2013. The Warburg effect then and now: From cancer to inflammatory diseases. BioEssays 35:965–973.
6Sagone, A. L., A. F. LoBuglio, and S. P. Balcerzak. 1974. Alterations in hexose monophosphate shunt during lymphoblastic transformation. Cell. Immunol. 14:443–452. Sheldon, I. M., E. J. Williams, A.
7Furukawa, S., H. Saito, T. Matsuda, T. Inoue, K. Fukatsu, I. Han, S. Ikeda, A. Hidemura, and T. Muto. 2000. Relative effects of glucose and glutamine on reactive oxygen intermediate production by neutrophils. Shock 13:274–278.
8Healy, D. A., R. W. Watson, and P. Newsholme. 2002. Glucose, but not glutamine, protects against spontaneous and anti-Fas antibody induced apoptosis in human neutrophils. Clin. Sci. 103:179–189.
9Garcia, M., T. H. Elsasser, Y. Qu, X. Zhu, and K. M. Moyes. 2015. Glucose supplementation has minimal effects on blood neutrophil function and gene expression in vitro. J. Dairy Sci. 98:6139–6150.

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