Hepatic lipid metabolism in transition dairy cows fed flaxseed.J Dairy Sci. 2007 Oct; 90(10):4780-92.JD
Thirty-three Holstein cows averaging 687 kg of body weight were allotted 6 wk before the expected date of parturition to 11 groups of 3 cows blocked within parity for similar calving dates to determine the effects of feeding different sources of fatty acids on blood parameters related to fatty liver and profile of fatty acids in plasma and liver. Cows were fed lipid supplements from 6 wk before the expected date of parturition until d 28 of lactation. Cows within each block were assigned to 1 of 3 isonitrogenous and isoenergetic dietary supplements: control with no added lipids (CO); unsaturated lipids supplied as whole flaxseed (FL; 3.3 and 11.0% of the dry matter in prepartum and postpartum diets, respectively); and saturated lipids supplied as Energy Booster (EB; 1.7 and 3.5% of the DM in prepartum and postpartum diets, respectively). Diets EB and FL had similar ether extract concentrations. Multiparous cows fed EB had lower dry matter intake and milk production, higher concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids and beta-hydroxybutyrate in plasma and triglycerides (TG) and total lipids in liver, and lower concentrations of plasma glucose and liver glycogen than those fed FL and CO. Production of 4% fat-corrected milk was similar among treatments. Multiparous cows fed FL had the highest liver concentrations of glycogen on wk 2 and 4 after calving and lowest concentrations of TG on wk 4 after calving. Liver C16:0 relative percentages in multiparous cows increased after calving whereas those of C18:0 decreased. Relative percentages of liver C16:0 were higher in wk 2 and 4 postpartum for multiparous cows fed EB compared with those fed CO and FL; those of C18:0 were lower in wk 4 postpartum for cows fed EB compared with those fed CO and FL. Liver C18:1 relative percentages of multiparous cows increased after calving and were higher in wk 4 for cows fed EB compared with those fed CO and FL. The inverse was observed for liver C18:2 relative percentages. In general, diets had more significant effects on plasma concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and glucose and liver profiles of fatty acids, TG, total lipids, and glycogen of multiparous than primiparous cows. These data suggest that feeding a source of saturated fatty acids increased the risk of fatty liver in the transition cow compared with feeding no lipids or whole flaxseed. Feeding flaxseed compared with no lipids or a source of saturated fatty acids from 6 wk before calving could be a useful strategy to increase liver concentrations of glycogen and decrease liver concentrations of TG after calving, which may prevent the development of fatty liver in the transition dairy cow.