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Maternal protein reserves and their influence on lactational performance in rats 3. The effects of dietary protein restriction and stage of lactation on milk composition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007


A.P. Pine
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburg, West Mains Road, Edinburg EH9 3JB
N.S. Jessop
Affiliation:
Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburg, West Mains Road, Edinburg EH9 3JB
J.D. Oldham
Affiliation:
Genetics and Behavioural Sciences Department, Scottish Agricultural College, West Mains Road, Edinburg EH9 3JB

Abstract

The effects of severe protein restriction following parturition on the changes in rat milk composition during lactation were investigated using multiparous female Sprague-Dawley rats caged individually following mating and offered a high-protein diet (H; 215 g crude protein (N × 6·25; CP)/kg dry matter (DM)) ad lib. until parturition. Following parturition, half the females continued to receive diet H, whilst the remainder were offered a diet low in protein (L; 90 g CP/kg DM) ad lib. On days 2, 4, 8 and 12 of lactation groups of females from both dietary treatments were used to provide a milk sample. Milk samples were analysed for their lactose (enzymically), protein (binding to Coomassie blue), lipid (gravimetrically) and mineral (spectrophotometrically) contents. The milk lactose concentration of group H increased with stage of lactation (r2 0·85, P < 0·001). Such an increase was prevented by diet L, and from day 8 of lactation the milk lactose of group L was lower (P < 0·05) than in group H. Group H milk protein concentration did not change during lactation and averaged 90·7 mg/g. Dietary protein restriction reduced the milk protein concentration of group L so that on days 2, 4 and 12 of lactation it was lower (P < 0·05) than that of group H. On day 8 of lactation the milk protein concentration of group L had increased (P < 0·05) and was comparable with that of group H. For group H, milk lipid averaged 166·8 mg/g and was generally unchanged during lactation. Diet L increased (P < 0·01) the milk lipid concentration (205·5 mg/g) compared with diet H and this was also significant on days 4 and 8 of lactation (P < 0·05). Group L milk lipid concentration also increased between days 4 and 8 of lactation (P < 0·05). Milk Na concentration declined during lactation in both dietary groups (P < 0·01) but was unaffected by dietary treatment. Both milk Ca and P concentrations increased (P < 0·01) during lactation in both dietary groups, whilst protein restriction also increased the Ca and P concentrations (P < 0·05). Milk K and Mg concentrations were unaffected by dietary treatment or stage of lactation. This significant alteration in the milk composition of severely protein-restricted dams, while possibly favouring the disposal of greater quantities of energy-yielding nutrients, suggests that equations developed for the estimation of milk production in rats cannot be used under such conditions. Laction: Milk composition: Feed intake: Dietary protien: Rat


Type
Maternal protein reserves and lactation
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1994

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