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Rumen biohydrogenation of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and their effects on microbial efficiency and nutrient digestibility in sheep

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 January 2001

A. M. WACHIRA
Affiliation:
ASRC, Harper Adams University College, School of Agriculture, Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB, UK
L. A. SINCLAIR
Affiliation:
ASRC, Harper Adams University College, School of Agriculture, Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB, UK
R. G. WILKINSON
Affiliation:
ASRC, Harper Adams University College, School of Agriculture, Edgmond, Newport, Shropshire TF10 8NB, UK
K. HALLETT
Affiliation:
Division of Food and Animal Science, School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
M. ENSER
Affiliation:
Division of Food and Animal Science, School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
J. D. WOOD
Affiliation:
Division of Food and Animal Science, School of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK

Abstract

The study examined the extent to which n-3 PUFA from different sources were biohydrogenated in the rumen and their effects on rumen microbial efficiency and whole tract nutrient digestibility. Four ruminally and duodenally cannulated wether lambs were used in a 4×4 Latin square design. Four iso-energetic and iso-nitrogenous diets based on dried grass were formulated to provide similar fat levels (60g/kg DM) from different sources; Megalac (palmitic acid: C16:0; Control), whole linseed (α-linolenic acid, C18:3n-3 ; Linseed) fish oil (eicosapentaenoic acid, C20:5n-3, EPA and docosahexaenoic acids C22:6n-3, DHA; Fish oil) and whole linseed plus fish oil providing equal amounts of oil (LinFish). Diets were offered at a rate of 1·2kg/day in 12 equal portions.

Total fatty acid intake was similar on all diets whilst duodenal fatty acid flow varied between 101, 94, 87 and 90% of dietary intake for animals fed the Control, Linseed, Fish oil and Linfish diets respectively. Duodenal flow of C18:3 n-3 in animals fed the Linseed diet was twice that of animals fed the Control diet (P < 0·01) whilst animals fed the Fish oil diet had a significantly greater flow of EPA and DHA than those fed any of the other dietary treatments. Duodenal flow of trans C18:1 in animals fed the Linfish diet was significantly greater than that in animals fed either Linseed, Fish oil or Control diets (P < 0·001). Biohydrogenation of C18:3n-3 was 80 to 93% in all diets whilst that of C20:5n-3 and C22:6n-3 was 72 to 79% in diets that contained fish oil or linseed and fish oil. Apparent fatty acid digestibility (duodenum to rectum) tended to be greater for unsaturated than saturated fatty acids whilst whole tract fatty acid digestibility (mouth to rectum) was significantly greater in animals fed diets containing fish oil (P0·05). All dietary n-3 PUFA sources decreased microbial protein synthesis and efficiency when expressed as either gN/kg organic matter (OM) apparently or truly degraded in the rumen. Additionally, the inclusion of fish oil increased the proportion of propionate in the rumen whilst depressing the rumen digestibility of OM and fibre (P < 0·01), but had no significant effect on whole tract OM or fibre digestibility.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2000 Cambridge University Press

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