Effects of a supplement containing trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid on bioenergetic and milk production parameters in grazing dairy cows offered ad libitum or restricted pasture.J Dairy Sci. 2007 Feb; 90(2):721-30.JD
Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduces milk fat synthesis in grazing dairy cows and may improve calculated net energy balance (EBAL). Study objectives were to determine whether CLA-induced milk fat depression could be utilized during times of feed restriction to improve bioenergetic and milk production parameters. Twelve multiparous rumen-fistulated Holstein cows (204 +/- 7 d in milk) were offered ad libitum (AL) or restricted (R) pasture and abomasally infused twice daily with 0 (control) or 50 g/d of CLA (CLA; mixed isomers) in a 2-period crossover design. Treatment periods lasted 10 d and were separated by a 10-d washout period. Milk and plasma samples were averaged from d 9 and 10, and EBAL was calculated from d 6 to 10 of the infusion period. Pasture restriction reduced the yield of milk (3.9 kg/d) and milk components. The CLA treatment reduced milk fat yield by 44 and 46% in AL and R, respectively. There was no effect of CLA on milk yield or milk lactose content or yield in either feeding regimen; however, CLA increased the milk protein content and yield by 7 and 6% and by 5 and 8%, in AL and R, respectively. The CLA-induced changes to milk fat and protein doubled the protein:fat ratio in both AL and R. Calculated EBAL improved following the CLA infusion (-0.44 vs. 2.68 and 0.38 vs. 3.29 Mcal/d for AL and R, respectively); however, CLA did not alter plasma bioenergetic markers. Data indicate that during short periods of nutrient limitation, supplemental CLA may be an alternative management tool to enhance protein synthesis and improve the milk protein:fat ratio and calculated EBAL in cows grazing pasture. Further studies are required to determine whether CLA is effective at improving bioenergetic and production parameters during more severe or longer term nutrient restriction.