RUMINANT NUTRITION SYMPOSIUM: Effects of postruminal flows of protein and amino acids on small intestinal starch digestion in beef cattle.J Anim Sci. 2018 Mar 06; 96(2):739-750.JA
Many nutritionists adopt feeding strategies designed to increase ruminal starch fermentation because ruminal capacity for starch degradation often exceeds amounts of starch able to be digested in the small intestine of cattle. However, increases in fermentable energy supply are positively correlated with increased instances of metabolic disorders and reductions in DMI, and energy derived by cattle subsequent to fermentation is less than that derived when glucose is intestinally absorbed. Small intestinal starch digestion (SISD) appears to be limited by α-glycohydrolase secretions and a precise understanding of digestion of carbohydrates in the small intestine remains equivocal. Interestingly, small intestinal α-glycohydrolase secretions are responsive to luminal appearance of milk-specific protein (i.e., casein) in the small intestine of cattle, and SISD is increased by greater postruminal flows of individual AA (i.e., Glu). Greater flows of casein and Glu appear to augment SISD, but by apparently different mechanisms. Greater small intestinal absorption of glucose has been associated with increased omental fat accretion even though SISD can increase NE from starch by more than 42% compared to ruminal starch degradation. Nonetheless, in vitro data suggest that greater glucogenicity of diets can allow for greater intramuscular fat accretion, and if greater small intestinal absorption of glucose does not mitigate hepatic gluconeogenesis then increases in SISD may provide opportunity to increase synthesis of intramuscular fat. If duodenal metabolizable AA flow can be altered to allow for improved SISD in cattle, then diet modification may allow for large improvements in feed efficiency and beef quality. Few data are available on direct effects of increases in SISD in response to greater casein or metabolizable Glu flow. An improved understanding of effects of increased SISD in response to greater postruminal flow of Glu and casein on improvements in NE and fates of luminally assimilated glucose could allow for increased efficiency of energy use from corn and improvements in conversion of corn grain to beef. New knowledge related to effects of greater postruminal flow of Glu and casein on starch utilization by cattle will allow nutritionists to more correctly match dietary nutrients to cattle requirements, thereby allowing large improvements in nutrient utilization and efficiency of gain among cattle fed starch-based diets.