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Effect of unsaturated fatty acids and triglycerides from soybeans on milk fat synthesis and biohydrogenation intermediates in dairy cattle

Boerman, J.P., Lock, A.L.
Journal of dairy science 2014 v.97 no.11 pp. 7031-7042
Holstein, alfalfa, biohydrogenation, corn, cows, crude protein, dairy cattle, dairy protein, data collection, esterification, feed conversion, feed intake, forage, lactose, milk, milk fat, milk fat yield, neutral detergent fiber, risk factors, rumen, soybean oil, soybeans, triacylglycerols, unsaturated fatty acids
Increased rumen unsaturated fatty acid (FA) load is a risk factor for milk fat depression. This study evaluated if increasing the amount of unsaturated FA in the diet as triglycerides or free FA affected feed intake, yield of milk and milk components, and feed efficiency. Eighteen Holstein cows (132±75 d in milk) were used in a replicated 3×3 Latin square design. Treatments were a control (CON) diet, or 1 of 2 unsaturated FA (UFA) treatments supplemented with either soybean oil (FA present as triglycerides; TAG treatment) or soybean FA distillate (FA present as free FA; FFA treatment). The soybean oil contained a higher concentration of cis-9 C18:1 (26.0 vs. 11.8g/100g of FA) and lower concentrations of C16:0 (9.6 vs. 15.0g/100g of FA) and cis-9,cis-12 C18:2 (50.5 vs. 59.1g/100g of FA) than the soybean FA distillate. The soybean oil and soybean FA distillate were included in the diet at 2% dry matter (DM) to replace soyhulls in the CON diet. Treatment periods were 21 d, with the final 4 d used for sample and data collection. The corn silage- and alfalfa silage-based diets contained 23% forage neutral detergent fiber and 17% crude protein. Total dietary FA were 2.6, 4.2, and 4.3% of diet DM for CON, FFA, and TAG treatments, respectively. Total FA intake was increased 57% for UFA treatments and was similar between FFA and TAG. The intakes of individual FA were similar, with the exception of a 24g/d lower intake of C16:0 and a 64g/d greater intake of cis-9 C18:1 for the TAG compared with the FFA treatment. Compared with CON, the UFA treatments decreased DM intake (1.0kg/d) but increased milk yield (2.2kg/d) and milk lactose concentration and yield. The UFA treatments reduced milk fat concentration, averaging 3.30, 3.18, and 3.11% for CON, FFA, and TAG treatments, respectively. Yield of milk fat, milk protein, and 3.5% fat-corrected milk remained unchanged when comparing CON with the UFA treatments. No differences existed in the yield of milk or milk components between the FFA and TAG treatments. The UFA treatments increased feed efficiency (energy-corrected milk/DM intake), averaging 1.42, 1.53, and 1.48 for CON, FFA, and TAG treatments, respectively. Although milk fat yield was not affected, the UFA treatments decreased the yield of de novo (<16-carbon) synthesized FA (40g/d) and increased the yield of preformed (>16-carbon) FA (134g/d). Yield of FA from both sources (16-carbon FA) was reduced by the UFA treatments but to a different extent for FFA versus TAG (72 vs. 100g/d). An increase was detected in the concentration of trans-10 C18:1 and a trend for an increase in trans-10,cis-12 C18:2 and trans-9,cis-11 C18:2 for the UFA treatments compared with CON. Under the dietary conditions tested, UFA treatments supplemented at 2% diet DM as either soybean FA distillate or soybean oil increased milk yield but did not effectively cause a reduction in milk fat yield, with preformed FA replacing de novo synthesized FA in milk fat. Further research is required to determine if the response to changes in dietary free and esterified FA concentrations is different in diets that differ in their risk for milk fat depression.