Recent reviews highlight the importance of the liver in the coordination of nutrient fluxes in support of pregnancy and lactation (e.g. Drackley et al., 2001). Mobilisation of body fat reserves in the late dry period and early lactation leads to an increase in uptake of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) by the liver. Their metabolic fate is either oxidation or esterification into triacylglycerides (TAG) that are either exported in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) or accumulated within liver cells. Recent evidence indicates that TAG accumulation impairs ureagenic and gluconeogenic capacity of the liver, with consequent reductions in feed intake and milk yield, increased incidence of disease and decreased reproductive performance (Overton and Piepenbrink, 1999).
LiFTTM (NuTec Ltd.) is a proprietary mixture of B-group vitamins and methyl group donors (rumen protected choline, niacin, vitamin B12, biotin, folic acid and thiamine) designed to reduce the accumulation of TAG in the liver and accelerate VLDL export. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effect of LiFT on milk yield and composition and concentrations of metabolites in blood.