Fat supplements affect fractional rates of ruminal fatty acid biohydrogenation and passage in dairy cows

Kevin J. Harvatine, Michael S. Allen

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Rates of fatty acid biohydrogenation and passage were determined for fat supplements varying in saturation using lactating dairy cows. First-order fractional passage rates were determined by dividing the duodenal flux of fatty acids by their respective ruminal pool sizes. The determination of rates of biohydrogenation required the development of a model to account for the transfer of fatty acids among pools. Ruminally and duodenally cannulated multiparous Holstein cows (n = 8) were used in a replicated 4 x 4 Latin square design with 21-d periods. Treatments were control and a linear substitution of 25 g/kg supplemented fatty acids varying in saturation as follows: saturated (prilled hydrogenated free fatty acids), intermediate mix of saturated and unsaturated (calcium soaps of long-chain fatty acids), and partially unsaturated fatty acids. Passage rates of 16:0, 18:0, and total 18-carbon fatty acids were linearly decreased with increasing unsaturated fatty acids and the trans-18:1 fractional passage rate was quadratically affected with a maximum for the intermediate treatment. Increasing unsaturated fatty acids increased the extent of 18:2 and 18:3 biohydrogenation and decreased the extent of 18:1 and trans-18:1 biohydrogenation. Calcium salts did not protect PUFA from ruminal biohydrogenation despite a mean ruminal pH of 6.0, and unsaturated fatty acids decreased ruminal biohydrogenation of trans-18:1, resulting in increased duodenal flow of these fatty acids. The model allows a mechanistic description of ruminal biohydrogenation and determination of the extent of 18:1 biohydrogenation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-685
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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