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Digestion of fatty acids in ruminants: a meta-analysis of flows and variation factors. 1. Total fatty acids

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 April 2008

P. Schmidely
AgroParisTech – INRA, UMR791 Physiologie de la Nutrition et Alimentation, F-75231 Paris, France
F. Glasser
INRA, UR1213 Herbivores, Site de Theix, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
M. Doreau
INRA, UR1213 Herbivores, Site de Theix, F-63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
D. Sauvant
AgroParisTech – INRA, UMR791 Physiologie de la Nutrition et Alimentation, F-75231 Paris, France
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A database built from 95 experiments with 303 treatments was used to quantify the ruminal biohydrogenation (BH) of fatty acids (FA), efficiency of microbial protein synthesis (EMPS), duodenal flow and intestinal absorption of total FA and of FA with 12 to 18 C units, in response to variations in dietary FA content, source or technological treatment of fat supplement. Flows of FA were expressed relative to dry matter intake (DMI) to compile data from bovine and ovine species. BH tended to increase curvilinearly with FA intake, whereas dietary FA did not affect EMPS. A linear relationship between FA intake and duodenal flow of total FA was obtained, with a coefficient of 0.75 ± 0.06 g duodenal FA/kg DMI for each g FA intake/kg DMI. Between experiments, positive balances of total FA (intake – duodenum) were related to low EMPS. Relationships between duodenal flows of FA with 12 to 18 C units and their respective intakes were linear, with a coefficient that increased with the number of C units. Duodenal flow of bacterial FA was linearly related to FA intake (coefficient 0.33 ± 0.13), whereas contribution of bacterial lipid to duodenal flow decreased as FA intake increased. For each FA with 12 to 16 C units, prediction of FA absorption from its respective duodenal flow was linear. For total FA and FA with 18 C units, apparent absorption levelled off at high duodenal flows. All these relationships were discussed according to current knowledge on microbial metabolism in the rumen and on the intestinal digestibility of FA in the intestine.

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