A conjugated linoleic acid supplement containing trans-10, cis-12 reduces milk fat synthesis in lactating sheep.J Dairy Sci. 2006 May; 89(5):1525-32.JD
The efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) supplements containing trans-10, cis-12 for reducing milk fat synthesis has been well documented in dairy cows, but studies with other ruminant species are less convincing, and there have been no investigations of this in sheep. Therefore, the current study was designed to determine whether trans-10, cis-12 CLA would inhibit milk fat synthesis in sheep. Twenty multiparous ewes in early lactation were paired and randomly allocated to 2 treatments: grass hay plus concentrate either unsupplemented (control) or supplemented with lipid-encapsulated CLA to provide 2.4 g/d of trans-10, cis-12 CLA. The CLA dose was based on published responses of dairy cows extrapolated to ewes on a metabolic body weight basis. The experimental design was a 2-period crossover with 10-d treatment periods separated by a 10-d interval. Compared with the control, CLA supplementation reduced milk fat content from 6.4 to 4.9% and reduced fat yield from 95 to 80 g/d. The CLA treatment also increased milk yield from 1,471 to 1,611 g/d and increased protein yield from 68 to 73 g/d. Milk protein content and DMI were unaffected by treatment. The reduction in milk fat yield was due to decreases in both de novo fatty acid synthesis and uptake of preformed fatty acids. Milk fat content of trans-10, cis-12 CLA was < 0.01 and 0.12 g/100 g of fatty acids for the control and CLA treatments, respectively. The transfer efficiency of trans-10, cis-12 CLA from the dietary supplement into milk fat was 3.8%. Results of the present study demonstrate that a CLA supplement containing trans-10, cis-12 CLA reduces milk fat synthesis in lactating sheep in a manner similar to dairy cows when fed at an equivalent dose (metabolic body weight basis). Furthermore, the nutrients spared by the reduction in milk fat coincided with an increase in milk and milk protein yield.