To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Both blood- and milk-based biomarkers have been analysed for decades in research settings, although often only in one herd, and without focus on the variation in the biomarkers that are specifically related to herd or diet. Biomarkers can be used to detect physiological imbalance and disease risk and may have a role in precision livestock farming (PLF). For use in PLF, it is important to quantify normal variation in specific biomarkers and the source of this variation. The objective of this study was to estimate the between- and within-herd variation in a number of blood metabolites (β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and serum IGF-1), milk metabolites (free glucose, glucose-6-phosphate, urea, isocitrate, BHB and uric acid), milk enzymes (lactate dehydrogenase and N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAGase)) and composite indicators for metabolic imbalances (Physiological Imbalance-index and energy balance), to help facilitate their adoption within PLF. Blood and milk were sampled from 234 Holstein dairy cows from 6 experimental herds, each in a different European country, and offered a total of 10 different diets. Blood was sampled on 2 occasions at approximately 14 days-in-milk (DIM) and 35 DIM. Milk samples were collected twice weekly (in total 2750 samples) from DIM 1 to 50. Multilevel random regression models were used to estimate the variance components and to calculate the intraclass correlations (ICCs). The ICCs for the milk metabolites, when adjusted for parity and DIM at sampling, demonstrated that between 12% (glucose-6-phosphate) and 46% (urea) of the variation in the metabolites’ levels could be associated with the herd-diet combination. Intraclass Correlations related to the herd-diet combination were generally higher for blood metabolites, from 17% (cholesterol) to approximately 46% (BHB and urea). The high ICCs for urea suggest that this biomarker can be used for monitoring on herd level. The low variance within cow for NAGase indicates that few samples would be needed to describe the status and potentially a general reference value could be used. The low ICC for most of the biomarkers and larger within cow variation emphasises that multiple samples would be needed - most likely on the individual cows - for making the biomarkers useful for monitoring. The majority of biomarkers were influenced by parity and DIM which indicate that these should be accounted for if the biomarker should be used for monitoring.
Economic pressures continue to mount on modern-day livestock farmers, forcing them to increase herds sizes in order to be commercially viable. The natural consequence of this is to drive the farmer and the animal further apart. However, closer attention to the animal not only positively impacts animal welfare and health but can also increase the capacity of the farmer to achieve a more sustainable production. State-of-the-art precision livestock farming (PLF) technology is one such means of bringing the animals closer to the farmer in the facing of expanding systems. Contrary to some current opinions, it can offer an alternative philosophy to ‘farming by numbers’. This review addresses the key technology-oriented approaches to monitor animals and demonstrates how image and sound analyses can be used to build ‘digital representations’ of animals by giving an overview of some of the core concepts of PLF tool development and value discovery during PLF implementation. The key to developing such a representation is by measuring important behaviours and events in the livestock buildings. The application of image and sound can realise more advanced applications and has enormous potential in the industry. In the end, the importance lies in the accuracy of the developed PLF applications in the commercial farming system as this will also make the farmer embrace the technological development and ensure progress within the PLF field in favour of the livestock animals and their well-being.
Analysis of human remains and a copper band found in the center of a Late Archaic (ca. 5000–3000 cal BP) shell ring demonstrate an exchange network between the Great Lakes and the coastal southeast United States. Similarities in mortuary practices suggest that the movement of objects between these two regions was more direct and unmediated than archaeologists previously assumed based on “down-the-line” models of exchange. These findings challenge prevalent notions that view preagricultural Native American communities as relatively isolated from one another and suggest instead that wide social networks spanned much of North America thousands of years before the advent of domestication.
This paper reviews the effects of extended lactation (EXT) as a strategy in dairy cattle on milk production and persistency, reproduction, milk quality, lifetime performance of the cow and finally the economic effects on herd and farm levels as well as the impact on emission of greenhouse gas at product level. Primiparous cows are able to produce equal or more milk per feeding day during EXT compared with a standard 305-d lactation, whereas results for multiparous cows are inconsistent. Cows managed for EXT can achieve a higher lifetime production while delivering milk with unchanged or improved quality properties. Delaying insemination enhances mounting behaviour and allows insemination after the cow’s energy balance has become positive. However, in most cases EXT has no effect or a non-significant positive effect on reproduction. The EXT strategy sets off a cascade of effects at herd and farm level. Thus, the EXT strategy leads to fewer calvings and thereby expected fewer diseases, fewer replacement heifers and fewer dry days per cow per year. The optimal lifetime scenario for milk production was modelled to be an EXT of 16 months for first parity cows followed by an EXT of 10 months for later lactations. Modelling studies of herd dynamics indicate a positive effect of EXT on lifetime efficiency (milk per dry matter intake), mainly originating from benefits of EXT on daily milk yield in primiparous cows and the reduced number of replacement heifers. Consequently, EXT also leads to reduced total meat production at herd level. For the farmer, EXT can give the same economic return as a traditional lactation period. At farm level, EXT can contribute to a reduction in the environmental impact of dairy production, mainly as a consequence of the reduced production of beef. A wider dissemination of the EXT concept will be supported by methods to predict which cows may be most suitable for EXT, and clarification of how milking frequency and feeding strategy through the lactation can be organised to support milk yield and an appropriate body condition at the next calving.
Experts have raised concerns that oxytocin for labor induction and augmentation may have detrimental effects on the neurodevelopment of children. To investigate whether there is the reason for concern, we reviewed and evaluated the available evidence by searching databases with no language or date restrictions up to 9 September 2018. We included English-language studies reporting results on the association between perinatal oxytocin exposure and any cognitive impairment, psychiatric symptoms or disorders in childhood. We assessed the quality of studies using the Newcastle–Ottawa Quality Assessment Scales. Independent risk estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analyses when at least two independent datasets provided data on the same symptom or disorder. Otherwise, we provided narrative summaries. Two studies examined cognitive impairment, one examined problem behavior, three examined attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seven focused on autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We provided narrative summaries of the studies on cognitive impairment. For ADHD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.17; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.77–1.78, based on a pooled sample size of 5 47 278 offspring. For ASD, the pooled risk estimate was 1.10; 95% CI 1.04–1.17, based on 8 87 470 offspring. Conclusions that perinatal oxytocin increases the risks of neurodevelopmental problems are premature. Observational studies of low to high quality comprise the evidence-base, and confounding, especially by the genetic or environmental vulnerability, remains an issue. Current evidence is insufficient to justify modifying obstetric guidelines for the use of oxytocin, which state that it should only be used when clinically indicated.
Unbalanced metabolic status in the weeks after calving predisposes dairy cows to metabolic and infectious diseases. Blood glucose, IGF-I, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are used as indicators of the metabolic status of cows. This work aims to (1) evaluate the potential of milk mid-IR spectra to predict these blood components individually and (2) to evaluate the possibility of predicting the metabolic status of cows based on the clustering of these blood components. Blood samples were collected from 241 Holstein cows on six experimental farms, at days 14 and 35 after calving. Blood samples were analyzed by reference analysis and metabolic status was defined by k-means clustering (k=3) based on the four blood components. Milk mid-IR analyses were undertaken on different instruments and the spectra were harmonized into a common standardized format. Quantitative models predicting blood components were developed using partial least squares regression and discriminant models aiming to differentiate the metabolic status were developed with partial least squares discriminant analysis. Cross-validations were performed for both quantitative and discriminant models using four subsets randomly constituted. Blood glucose, IGF-I, NEFA and BHB were predicted with respective R2 of calibration of 0.55, 0.69, 0.49 and 0.77, and R2 of cross-validation of 0.44, 0.61, 0.39 and 0.70. Although these models were not able to provide precise quantitative values, they allow for screening of individual milk samples for high or low values. The clustering methodology led to the sharing out of the data set into three groups of cows representing healthy, moderately impacted and imbalanced metabolic status. The discriminant models allow to fairly classify the three groups, with a global percentage of correct classification up to 74%. When discriminating the cows with imbalanced metabolic status from cows with healthy and moderately impacted metabolic status, the models were able to distinguish imbalanced group with a global percentage of correct classification up to 92%. The performances were satisfactory considering the variables are not present in milk, and consequently predicted indirectly. This work showed the potential of milk mid-IR analysis to provide new metabolic status indicators based on individual blood components or a combination of these variables into a global status. Models have been developed within a standardized spectral format, and although robustness should preferably be improved with additional data integrating different geographic regions, diets and breeds, they constitute rapid, cost-effective and large-scale tools for management and breeding of dairy cows.
Laying hens housed in free-range systems have access to an outdoor range, and individual hens within a flock differ in their ranging behaviour. Whether there is a link between ranging and laying hen welfare remains unclear. We analysed the relationships between ranging by individual hens on a commercial free-range layer farm and behavioural, physiological and health measures of animal welfare. We hypothesised that hens that access the range more will be (1) less fearful in general and in response to novelty and humans, (2) have better health in terms of physical body condition and (3) have a reduced physiological stress response to behavioural tests of fear and health assessments than hens that use the range less. Using radio frequency identification tracking across two flocks, we recorded individual hens’ frequency, duration and consistency of ranging. We also assessed how far hens ventured into the range based on three zones: 0 to 2.4, 2.4 to 11.4 or >11.4 m from the shed. We assessed hen welfare using a variety of measures including: tonic immobility, open field, novel object, human approach, and human avoidance (HAV) behavioural tests; stress-induced plasma corticosterone response and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites; live weight, comb colour, and beak, plumage, footpad, and keel bone condition. Range use was positively correlated with plasma corticosterone response, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, and greater flight distance during HAV. Hens that used the range more, moved towards rather than away from the novel object more often than hens that ranged less. Distance ranged from the shed was significantly associated with comb colour and beak condition, in that hens with darker combs and more intact beaks ranged further. Overall the findings suggest that there is no strong link between outdoor range usage and laying hen welfare. Alternatively, it may be that hens that differed in their ranging behaviour showed few differences in measures of welfare because free-range systems provide hens with adequate choice to cope with their environment. Further research into the relationship between individual range access and welfare is needed to test this possibility.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) subtypes H5 and H7 can infect poultry causing low pathogenicity (LP) AI, but these LPAIVs may mutate to highly pathogenic AIV in chickens or turkeys causing high mortality, hence H5/H7 subtypes demand statutory intervention. Serological surveillance in the European Union provides evidence of H5/H7 AIV exposure in apparently healthy poultry. To identify the most sensitive screening method as the first step in an algorithm to provide evidence of H5/H7 AIV infection, the standard approach of H5/H7 antibody testing by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) was compared with an ELISA, which detects antibodies to all subtypes. Sera (n = 1055) from 74 commercial chicken flocks were tested by both methods. A Bayesian approach served to estimate diagnostic test sensitivities and specificities, without assuming any ‘gold standard’. Sensitivity and specificity of the ELISA was 97% and 99.8%, and for H5/H7 HI 43% and 99.8%, respectively, although H5/H7 HI sensitivity varied considerably between infected flocks. ELISA therefore provides superior sensitivity for the screening of chicken flocks as part of an algorithm, which subsequently utilises H5/H7 HI to identify infection by these two subtypes. With the calculated sensitivity and specificity, testing nine sera per flock is sufficient to detect a flock seroprevalence of 30% with 95% probability.
To achieve functional but also productive females, we hypothesised that it is possible to modulate acquisition and allocation of animals from different genetic types by varying the main energy source of the diet. To test this hypothesis, we used 203 rabbit females belonging to three genetic types: H (n=66), a maternal line characterised by hyper-prolificacy; LP (n=67), a maternal line characterised by functional hyper-longevity; R (n=79), a paternal line characterised by growth rate. Females were fed with two isoenergetic and isoprotein diets differing in energy source: animal fat (AF) enhancing milk yield; cereal starch (CS) promoting body reserves recovery. Feed intake, weight, perirenal fat thickness (PFT), milk yield and blood traits were controlled during five consecutive reproductive cycles (RCs). Females fed with CS presented higher PFT (+0.2 mm, P<0.05) and those fed AF had higher milk yield (+11.7%, P<0.05). However, the effect of energy source varied with the genetic type and time. For example, R females presented a decrease in PFT at late lactation (−4.3%; P<0.05) significantly higher than that observed for H and LP lines (on av. −0.1%; P>0.05), particularly for those fed with AF. Moreover, LP females fed with AF progressively increased PFT across the RC, whereas those fed with CS increased PFT during early lactation (+7.3%; P<0.05), but partially mobilised it during late lactation (−2.8%; P<0.05). Independently of the diet offered, LP females reached weaning with similar PFT. H females fed with either of the two diets followed a similar trajectory throughout the RC. For milk yield, the effect of energy source was almost constant during the whole experiment, except for the first RC of females from the maternal lines (H and LP). These females yielded +34.1% (P<0.05) when fed with CS during this period. Results from this work indicate that the resource acquisition capacity and allocation pattern of rabbit females is different for each genetic type. Moreover, it seems that by varying the main energy source of the diet it is possible to modulate acquisition and allocation of resources of the different genetic types. However, the response of each one depends on its priorities over time.
Literature suggests an association between loneliness and mortality for both males and females. Yet, the linkage of loneliness to mortality is not thoroughly examined, and need to be replicated with a long follow-up time. This study assessed the association between loneliness and mortality, including associations to gender, in 1363 adult swedes.
This community-based prospective cohort study from the Swedish Lundby Study included 1363 individuals of whom 296 individuals (21.7%) were identified as lonely with use of semi-structured interviews in 1997. The cohort was followed until 2011 and survival analyses were used to estimate the relative risk of death.
Death occurred with an incidence rate of 2.63 per 100 person-years and 2.09 per 100 person-years for lonely and non-lonely individuals, respectively. In crude analysis, loneliness was associated with a significant increased mortality risk of 27% compared with non-lonely individuals [hazard ratio (HR) 1.27; 95% CI 1.01–1.60]. Unadjusted, lonely females had a significant increased risk (HR 1.76; 95% CI 1.31–2.34) and adjusted insignificant increased mortality risk of 27% (HR 1.27; 95% CI 0.92–1.74), compared with non-lonely females. Lonely males were found to have an adjusted significant decreased risk of mortality (HR 0.50; 95% CI 0.32–0.80), compared with non-lonely males.
Findings suggest an association between loneliness and increased risk of mortality and that gender differences may exist, which have not been previously reported. If replicated, our results indicate that loneliness may have differential physical implications in some subgroups. Future studies are needed to further investigate the influence of gender on the relationship.
The study aimed to evaluate the impact of a 15-month intervention on dietary intake conducted among obesity-prone normal-weight pre-school children.
Information on dietary intake was obtained using a 4 d diet record. A diet quality index was adapted to assess how well children’s diet complied with the Danish national guidelines. Linear regression per protocol and intention-to-treat analyses of differences in intakes of energy, macronutrients, fruit, vegetables, fish, sugar-sweetened beverages and diet quality index between the two groups were conducted.
The Healthy Start study was conducted during 2009–2011, focusing on changing diet, physical activity, sleep and stress management to prevent excessive weight gain among Danish children.
From a population of 635 Danish pre-school children, who had a high birth weight (≥4000 g), high maternal pre-pregnancy BMI (≥28·0 kg/m2) or low maternal educational level (<10 years of schooling), 285 children completed the intervention and had complete information on dietary intake.
Children in the intervention group had a lower energy intake after the 15-month intervention (group means: 5·29 v. 5·59 MJ, P=0·02) compared with the control group. We observed lower intakes of carbohydrates and added sugar in the intervention group compared with the control group after the intervention (P=0·002, P=0·01).
The intervention resulted in a lower energy intake, particularly from carbohydrates and added sugar after 15 months of intervention, suggesting that dietary intake can be changed in a healthier direction in children predisposed to obesity.
Background: Verbal memory (VM) impairment is prominent in bipolar disorder (BD) and is linked to functional outcomes. However, the intricacies of VM impairment have not yet been studied in a large sample of BD patients. Moreover, some have proposed VM deficits that may be mediated by organizational strategies, such as semantic or serial clustering. Thus, the exact nature of VM break-down in BD patients is not well understood, limiting remediation efforts. We investigated the intricacies of VM deficits in BD patients versus healthy controls (HCs) and examined whether verbal learning differences were mediated by use of clustering strategies. Methods: The California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was administered to 113 affectively stable BD patients and 106 HCs. We compared diagnostic groups on all CVLT indices and investigated whether group differences in verbal learning were mediated by clustering strategies. Results: Although BD patients showed significantly poorer attention, learning, and memory, these indices were only mildly impaired. However, BD patients evidenced poorer use of effective learning strategies and lower recall consistency, with these indices falling in the moderately impaired range. Moreover, relative reliance on semantic clustering fully mediated the relationship between diagnostic category and verbal learning, while reliance on serial clustering partially mediated this relationship. Conclusions: VM deficits in affectively stable bipolar patients were widespread but were generally mildly impaired. However, patients displayed inadequate use of organizational strategies with clear separation from HCs on semantic and serial clustering. Remediation efforts may benefit from education about mnemonic devices or “chunking” techniques to attenuate VM deficits in BD. (JINS, 2017, 23, 358–366)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a public health issue worldwide. Injecting drug use remains the major mode of transmission in developed countries. Monitoring the HCV transmission dynamic over time is crucial, especially to assess the effect of harm reduction measures in drug users (DU). Our objective was to estimate the prevalence and incidence of HCV infection in DU in France using data from a repeated cross-sectional survey conducted in 2004 and 2011. Age- and time-dependent HCV prevalence was estimated through logistic regression models adjusted for HIV serostatus or injecting practices. HCV incidence was estimated from a mathematical model linking prevalence and incidence. HCV prevalence decreased from 58·2% [95% confidence interval (CI) 49·7–66·8] in 2004 to 43·2% (95% CI 38·8–47·7) in 2011. HCV incidence decreased from 7·9/100 person-years (95% CI 6·4–9·4) in 2004 to 4·4/100 person-years (95% CI 3·3–5·9) in 2011. HCV prevalence and incidence were significantly associated with age, calendar time, HIV serostatus and injecting practices. In 2011, the highest estimated incidence was in active injecting DU (11·2/100 person-years). Given the forthcoming objective of generalizing access to new direct antiviral agents for HCV infection, our results contribute to decision-making and policy development regarding treatment scale-up and disease prevention in the DU population.
Psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might be associated with reduced risk of specific causes of death.
In this matched cohort study, we included patients, who after an episode of deliberate self-harm received psychosocial therapy at a Suicide Prevention Clinic in Denmark between 1992 and 2010. We used propensity score matching in a 1:3 ratio to select a comparison group from 59 046 individuals who received standard care. National Danish registers supplied data on specific causes of death over a 20-year follow-up period.
At the end of follow-up, 391 (6.9%) of 5678 patients in the psychosocial therapy group had died, compared with 1736 (10.2%) of 17 034 patients in the matched comparison group. Lower odds ratios of dying by mental or behavioural disorders [0.54, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.37–0.79], alcohol-related causes (0.63, 95% CI 0.50–0.80) and other diseases and medical conditions (0.61, 95% CI 0.49–0.77) were noted in the psychosocial therapy group. Also, we found a reduced risk of dying by suicide as well as other external causes, however, not by neoplasms and circulatory system diseases. Numbers needed to treat were 212.9 (95% CI 139.5–448.4) for mental or behavioural disorders as a cause of death, 111.1 (95% CI 79.2–210.5) for alcohol-related causes and 96.8 (95% CI 69.1–161.8) for other diseases and medical conditions.
Our findings indicate that psychosocial therapy after deliberate self-harm might reduce long-term risk of death from select medical conditions and external causes. These promising results should be tested in a randomized design.
Glacier surface mass-balance measurements on Greenland started more than a century ago, but no compilation exists of the observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. Such data could be used in the evaluation of modelled surface mass balance, or to document changes in glacier melt independently from model output. Here, we present a comprehensive database of Greenland glacier surface mass-balance observations from the ablation area of the ice sheet and local glaciers. The database spans the 123 a from 1892 to 2015, contains a total of ~3000 measurements from 46 sites, and is openly accessible through the PROMICE web portal (http://www.promice.dk). For each measurement we provide X, Y and Z coordinates, starting and ending dates as well as quality flags. We give sources for each entry and for all metadata. Two thirds of the data were collected from grey literature and unpublished archive documents. Roughly 60% of the measurements were performed by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS, previously GGU). The data cover all regions of Greenland except for the southernmost part of the east coast, but also emphasize the importance of long-term time series of which there are only two exceeding 20 a. We use the data to analyse uncertainties in point measurements of surface mass balance, as well as to estimate surface mass-balance profiles for most regions of Greenland.
Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) are common during development and may arise due to dysregulation in top-down processing of sensory input. This study was designed to examine the frequency and correlates of speech illusions measured using the White Noise (WN) task in children from the general population. Associations between speech illusions and putative risk factors for psychotic disorder and negative affect were examined.
A total of 1486 children aged 11–12 years of the Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000 were examined with the WN task. Psychotic experiences and negative affect were determined using the Kiddie-SADS-PL. Register data described family history of mental disorders. Exaggerated Theory of Mind functioning (hyper-ToM) was measured by the ToM Storybook Frederik.
A total of 145 (10%) children experienced speech illusions (hearing speech in the absence of speech stimuli), of which 102 (70%) experienced illusions perceived by the child as positive or negative (affectively salient). Experiencing hallucinations during the last month was associated with affectively salient speech illusions in the WN task [general cognitive ability: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2.01, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–3.93]. Negative affect, both last month and lifetime, was also associated with affectively salient speech illusions (aOR 2.01, 95% CI 1.05–3.83 and aOR 1.79, 95% CI 1.11–2.89, respectively). Speech illusions were not associated with delusions, hyper-ToM or family history of mental disorders.
Speech illusions were elicited in typically developing children in a WN-test paradigm, and point to an affective pathway to AVH mediated by dysregulation in top-down processing of sensory input.
The objective of the study was to investigate the effect of propylene glycol (PG) allocation on concentrations of milk metabolites with potential use as indicators of glucogenic status in high yielding postpartum dairy cows. At time of calving, nine ruminally cannulated Holstein cows were randomly assigned to ruminal dosing of 500 g/d tap water (CON, n = 4) or 500 g/d PG (PPG, n = 5). The PG was given with the morning feeding week 1–4 postpartum (treatment period) and cows were further followed during week 5–8 postpartum (follow-up period). All cows were fed the same postpartum diet. Milk samples were obtained at each milking (3 times/d) in the treatment period, and at morning milking during the follow-up period. Weekly blood samples were obtained from –4 to +8 weeks relative to calving and daily blood samples from –7 until +7 d relative to calving. The main effect of PG allocation was an increased glucogenic status, e.g. visualised by a prompt marked increase in blood fructosamine. During the treatment period, milk concentration of free glucose tended to be greater, whereas milk concentrations of isocitrate and BHBA were lower for PPG compared with CON. It is proposed that the ratio between free glucose and isocitrate in milk may be a potential biomarker for glucogenic status in the vulnerable early postpartum period. We will pursue this issue in the future.
Demand for organic meat is partially driven by consumer perceptions that organic foods are more nutritious than non-organic foods. However, there have been no systematic reviews comparing specifically the nutrient content of organic and conventionally produced meat. In this study, we report results of a meta-analysis based on sixty-seven published studies comparing the composition of organic and non-organic meat products. For many nutritionally relevant compounds (e.g. minerals, antioxidants and most individual fatty acids (FA)), the evidence base was too weak for meaningful meta-analyses. However, significant differences in FA profiles were detected when data from all livestock species were pooled. Concentrations of SFA and MUFA were similar or slightly lower, respectively, in organic compared with conventional meat. Larger differences were detected for total PUFA and n-3 PUFA, which were an estimated 23 (95 % CI 11, 35) % and 47 (95 % CI 10, 84) % higher in organic meat, respectively. However, for these and many other composition parameters, for which meta-analyses found significant differences, heterogeneity was high, and this could be explained by differences between animal species/meat types. Evidence from controlled experimental studies indicates that the high grazing/forage-based diets prescribed under organic farming standards may be the main reason for differences in FA profiles. Further studies are required to enable meta-analyses for a wider range of parameters (e.g. antioxidant, vitamin and mineral concentrations) and to improve both precision and consistency of results for FA profiles for all species. Potential impacts of composition differences on human health are discussed.
Demand for organic milk is partially driven by consumer perceptions that it is more nutritious. However, there is still considerable uncertainty over whether the use of organic production standards affects milk quality. Here we report results of meta-analyses based on 170 published studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional bovine milk. There were no significant differences in total SFA and MUFA concentrations between organic and conventional milk. However, concentrations of total PUFA and n-3 PUFA were significantly higher in organic milk, by an estimated 7 (95 % CI −1, 15) % and 56 (95 % CI 38, 74) %, respectively. Concentrations of α-linolenic acid (ALA), very long-chain n-3 fatty acids (EPA+DPA+DHA) and conjugated linoleic acid were also significantly higher in organic milk, by an 69 (95 % CI 53, 84) %, 57 (95 % CI 27, 87) % and 41 (95 % CI 14, 68) %, respectively. As there were no significant differences in total n-6 PUFA and linoleic acid (LA) concentrations, the n-6:n-3 and LA:ALA ratios were lower in organic milk, by an estimated 71 (95 % CI −122, −20) % and 93 (95 % CI −116, −70) %. It is concluded that organic bovine milk has a more desirable fatty acid composition than conventional milk. Meta-analyses also showed that organic milk has significantly higher α-tocopherol and Fe, but lower I and Se concentrations. Redundancy analysis of data from a large cross-European milk quality survey indicates that the higher grazing/conserved forage intakes in organic systems were the main reason for milk composition differences.