Histidine deficiency has a negative effect on lactational performance of dairy cows

F. Giallongo, M. T. Harper, J. Oh, C. Parys, I. Shinzato, A. N. Hristov

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36 Scopus citations


A 10-wk randomized complete block design experiment with 24 Holstein cows was conducted to investigate the long-term effects of feeding a His-deficient diet on lactational performance of dairy cows. Cows were blocked by days in milk, milk yield, and parity, and randomly assigned to 1 of the following 2 treatments: (1) His-adequate diet [HAD; providing +166 g/d over metabolizable protein (MP) requirements, according to the National Research Council (2001) and digestible His (dHis) supply of 68 g/d, or 2.5% of MP requirements] and (2) His-deficient diet (HDD; +37 g/d over MP requirements and dHis supply of 49 g/d, or 1.9% of MP requirements). Both HAD and HDD were supplemented with rumen-protected (RP) Met and Lys supplying digestible Met and digestible Lys at 2.4 and 2.4% and 7.2 and 7.1% of MP requirements, respectively. At the end of the 10-wk experiment, HDD was supplemented with RPHis (HDD+RPHis; total dHis supply of 61 g/d, or 2.4% of MP requirements) for an additional 9 d. Dry matter intake (DMI; 25.4 and 27.1 kg/d, standard error of the mean = 0.41), yields of milk (37.6 and 40.5 kg/d, standard error of the mean = 0.62), protein and lactose, energy-corrected milk, and milk and plasma urea-N were decreased by HDD compared with HAD. Feed and energy-corrected milk feed efficiencies, milk fat, protein and lactose concentrations, body weight, and body condition score of the cows were not affected by treatment. Apparent total-tract digestibility of dry and organic matter, crude protein, and neutral detergent fiber, and excretion of urinary N and urea-N were decreased by HDD compared with HAD. Concentration of plasma leptin tended to be decreased for HDD compared with HAD. Plasma concentrations of EAA (His, Leu, Lys, Val) and carnosine decreased and total EAA tended to be decreased in cows fed HDD compared with HAD. Muscle concentrations of free His, Leu, and Val decreased and Gly and β-alanine tended to be increased by HDD compared with HAD. Cows fed HDD had a lower blood hemoglobin concentration than cows fed HAD. At the end of the 10-wk study, the 9-d supplementation of HDD with RPHis (i.e., HDD+RPHis) increased DMI and plasma His, and tended to increase energy-corrected milk yield and plasma carnosine, compared with HDD. In conclusion, feeding a diet deficient in dHis supplying adequate MP, digestible Met, and digestible Lys affected negatively lactational performance of dairy cows. These results confirm our previous findings that low dietary His supply can impair DMI, yields of milk and milk protein, and blood hemoglobin in dairy cows.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2784-2800
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of dairy science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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