Skip to main content Accessibility help

Effects of flaxseed, raw soybeans and calcium salts of fatty acids on apparent total tract digestibility, energy balance and milk fatty acid profile of transition cows

  • J. R. Gandra (a1), R. D. Mingoti (a2), R. V. Barletta (a2), C. S. Takiya (a2), L. C. Verdurico (a2), J. E. Freitas (a3), P. G. Paiva (a4), E. F. Jesus (a4), G. D. Calomeni (a2) and F. P. Rennó (a2)...


Oilseeds offer some protection to the access of ruminal microorganisms and may be an alternative to calcium salts of fatty acids (FA), which are not fully inert in the ruminal environment. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of different sources of FA supplementation on apparent total tract nutrient digestibility, milk yield and composition, and energy balance (EB) of cows during the transition period and early lactation. We compared diets rich in C18:2 and C18:3 FA. Multiparous Holstein cows were randomly assigned to receive one of the four diets: control (n=11); whole flaxseed (WF, n=10), 60 and 80 g/kg (diet dry matter (DM) basis) of WF during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively; whole raw soybeans (WS, n=10), 120 and 160 g/kg (diet DM basis) of WS during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively; and calcium salts of unsaturated fatty acids (CSFA, n=11), 24 and 32 g/kg (diet DM basis) of CSFA during the prepartum and postpartum periods, respectively. Dry cows fed WF had higher DM and net energy of lactation (NEL) intake than those fed WS or CSFA. The FA supplementation did not alter DM and NDF apparent total tract digestibility, dry cows fed WF exhibited greater NDF total tract digestion than cows fed WS or CSFA. Feeding WS instead of CSFA did not alter NEL intake and total tract digestion of nutrients, but increased milk fat yield and concentration. Calculated efficiency of milk yield was not altered by diets. FA supplementation increased EB during the postpartum period. Experimental diets increased long-chain FA (saturated and unsaturated FA) in milk. In addition, cows fed WS and CSFA had higher C18:1 trans-11 FA and C18:2 cis, and lower C18:3 FA in milk than those fed WF. Furthermore, cows fed CSFA had higher C18:1 trans-11 and cis-9, trans-11 FA than cows fed WS. Although supplemental C18:2 and C18:3 FA did not influence the milk yield of cows, they positively affected EB and increased unsaturated long-chain FA in milk fat.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Allen, MS 2000. Effects of diet on short-term regulation of feed intake by lactating dairy cattle. Journal of Dairy Science 83, 15981624.
Almeida, GF, Del Valle, TA, Paiva, PG, Jesus, EF, Barletta, RV, Gandra, JR, Bettero, VP, Takiya, CS and Rennó, FP 2015. Effects of whole raw soybean or whole cottonseed on milk yield and composition, digestibility, ruminal fermentation and blood metabolites of lactating dairy cows. Animal Production Science, doi:10.1071/AN15266 (published online 22 January 2016).
Association of Official Analytical Chemistry (AOAC) 2000. Official methods of analysis, 17th edition. AOAC, Arlington, VA, USA.
Bauman, DE and Griinari, JM 2003. Nutritional regulation of milk fat synthesis. Annual Review of Nutrition 23, 203227.
Baumgard, LH, Corl, BA, Dwyer, DA, Saebø, A and Bauman, DE 2000. Identification of the conjugated linoleic acid isomer that inhibits milk fat synthesis. American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 278, R179R184.
Caldari-Torres, C, Lock, AL, Staples, CR and Badinga, L 2011. Performance, metabolic, and endocrine responses of periparturient Holstein cows fed 3 sources of fat. Journal of Dairy Science 94, 15001510.
Chilliard, Y, Glasser, F, Ferlay, A, Bernard, L, Rouel, J and Doreau, M 2007. Diet, rumen biohydrogenation, cow and goat milk fat nutritional quality: a review. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 109, 828855.
Cook, DA, McGilliar, AD and Richard, M 1967. In vitro conversion of long-chain fatty acids to ketone by bovine rumen mucosa. Journal of Dairy Science 51, 715720.
Côrtes, C, Silva-Kazama, DC, Kazama, R, Gagnon, N, Benchaar, C, Santos, GTD, Zeoula, LM and Petit, HV 2010. Milk composition, milk fatty acid profile, digestion, and ruminal fermentation in dairy cows fed whole flaxseed and calcium salts of flaxseed oil. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 31463157.
Dairy Records Management Systems 2014. DHI glossary. Retrieved on 5 May 2014 from
Drackley, JK 1999. ADSA Foundation Scholar Award. Biology of dairy cows during the transition period: the final frontier? Journal of Dairy Science 82, 22592273.
Feng, S, Lock, AL and Garnsworthy, PC 2004. A rapid method for determining fatty acid composition of milk. Journal of Dairy Science 87, 37853788.
Goosen, PCM 1975. Absorption of long-chain fatty acids by rumen epithelium: experiments in vivo and in vitro . Zeitschrift für Tierphysiologie, Tierernährung und Futtermittelkunde 35, 296302.
Grummer, RR, Mashek, DG and Hayirli, A 2004. Dry matter intake and energy balance in the transition period. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 20, 447470.
Hall, MB 2000. Calculation of non-structural carbohydrate content of feeds that contain non-protein nitrogen. Bulletin No. 339, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA, p. A. 25.
Kramer, JKG, Fellner, V, Dugan, MER, Sauer, FD, Mossoba, MM and Yurawecz, MP 1997. Evaluating acid and base catalysts in the methylation of milk and rumen fatty acids with special emphasis on conjugated dienes and total trans fatty acids. Lipids 32, 12191228.
Lieber, F, Hochstrasser, R, Wettstein, H-R and Kreuzer, M 2011. Feeding transition cows with oilseeds: effects on fatty acid composition of adipose tissue, colostrum and milk. Livestock Science 138, 112.
Lock, AL and Bauman, DE 2004. Modifying milk fat composition of dairy cows to enhance fatty acids beneficial to human health. Lipids 39, 11971206.
Maia, MRG, Chaudahary, LC, Figueres, L and Wallace, RJ 2007. Metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their toxicity to the microflora of the rumen. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 91, 303314.
National Research Council (NRC) 2001. Nutrient requirements of dairy cattle, 7th revised edition. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
Nocek, JE 1988. In situ and other methods to estimate ruminal protein and energy digestibility. A review. Journal of Dairy Science 71, 20512069.
Overton, TR and Waldron, MR 2004. Nutritional management of transition dairy cows: strategies to optimize metabolic health. Journal of Dairy Science 87 (E. suppl.), E105E119.
Petit, HV, Palin, MF and Doepel, L 2007. Hepatic lipid metabolism in transition dairy cows fed flaxseed. Journal of Dairy Science 90, 47804792.
Silvestre, FT, Carvalho, TSM, Crawford, PC, Santos, JEP, Staples, CR, Jenkins, T and Thatcher, WW 2011a. Effects of differential supplementation of fatty acids during the peripartum and breeding periods of Holstein cows: II. Neutrophil fatty acids and function, and acute phase proteins. Journal of Dairy Science 94, 22852301.
Silvestre, FT, Carvalho, TSM, Francisco, N, Santos, JEP, Staples, CR, Jenkin, TC and Thatcher, WW 2011b. Effects of differential supplementation of fatty acids during peripartum and breeding periods of Holstein cows: I. Uterine and metabolic responses, reproduction, and lactation. Journal of Dairy Science 94, 189204.
Sklan, DR, Ashkenazi, R, Braun, A, Devorin, A and Tabori, K 1992. Fatty acids, calcium soaps of fatty acids, and cotton seeds fed to high yielding cows. Journal of Dairy Science 75, 24632472.
Sukhija, PS and Palmquist, DL 1988. Rapid method for determination of total fatty acid content and composition of feedstuffs and feces. Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 36, 12022016.
Van Nevel, CJ and Demeyer, DI 1996. Effect of pH on biohydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their Ca-salts by microorganisms in vitro . Archives of Animal Nutrition 49, 151157.
Van Soest, PJ, Robertson, JB and Lewis, BA 1991. Methods for dietary fiber, neutral detergent fiber, and nonstarch polysaccharides in relation to animal nutrition. Journal of Dairy Science 74, 35833597.
Wildman, EE, Jones, GM and Wagner, PEA 1982. Dairy cow body condition system and its relationship to selected production characteristics. Journal of Dairy Science 65, 495501.
Zachut, M, Arieli, A, Lehrer, H, Livshitz, L, Yakoby, S and Moallem, U 2010. Effects of increased supplementation of n-3 fatty acids to transition dairy cows on performance and fatty acid profile in plasma, adipose tissue, and milk fat. Journal of Dairy Science 93, 58775889.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed