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Splanchnic metabolism of volatile fatty acids in the dairy cow

  • N. B. Kristensen (a1)

Abstract

Volatile fatty acids (VFA) are quantitatively important substrates for dairy cows and other ruminants. It has been a central dogma in the nutritional physiology of ruminants that the ruminal epithelium metabolizes a large fraction of VFA during theirabsorption and consequently a relatively small fraction of VFA is available for peripheral tissues including the mammary gland. New data on splanchnic metabolism of VFA indicate that the ruminal epithelium metabolizes none or small amounts of acetate and propionate absorbed from the rumen. However, the ruminal epithelium has a large fractional uptake of butyrate and valerate during their absorption from the rumen. The liver takes up proportionately 0·9 or more of the absorbed propionate, however multiple factors are involved in regulation of hepatic metabolism and propionate does not determine glucose availability to the cow per se. In light of the quantitative importance of VFA to the dairy cow it is important that future research attempts to bridge the gap between the biology of food degradation/digestion in the gastro-intestinal tract and availability of specific nutrients to the cow which impact intermediary metabolism and nutrient utilizationin productive tissues.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

E-mail: nbk@agrsci.dk

References

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Splanchnic metabolism of volatile fatty acids in the dairy cow

  • N. B. Kristensen (a1)

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