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The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of level and timing of silage supplementation during early lactation on animal performance and dry matter intake (DMI). Two farm-lets were established with a high (1253 kg DM/ha) and low (862 kg DM/ha) grass availability at turnout. In spring, cows were assigned to one of two treatments as they calved over 2 years; high grass (HG) and low grass (LG). During period 1 (week 1–6), cows on the HG treatment were offered a high daily herbage allowance (DHA) with low silage and the LG treatment were offered a low DHA with high silage. In period 2 (week 7–12), half of the cows from the HG treatment in P1 switched to the LG treatment in P2 and vice versa as 20 LG cows in P1 switched to the HG treatment in P2. Cows on the HG treatment in P2 received a high DHA with no silage and the LG treatment received a low DHA with 3 kg DM/cow silage. Grass DMI was significantly higher for the HG treatment during both periods (+1.6 and +3.4 kg DM/cow/day, respectively). The HG treatment produced +0.9 kg milk/cow/day and had a higher protein concentration (+1.1 g/kg milk) compared to cows on the LG treatment during period 2. Differences in animal performance observed in period 2 were maintained throughout the 8-week carryover period.
Characterizing non-lethal damage within dry seeds may allow us to detect early signs of ageing and accurately predict longevity. We compared RNA degradation and viability loss in seeds exposed to stressful conditions to quantify relationships between degradation rates and stress intensity or duration. We subjected recently harvested (‘fresh’) ‘Williams 82’ soya bean seeds to moisture, temperature and oxidative stresses, and measured time to 50% viability (P50) and rate of RNA degradation, the former using standard germination assays and the latter using RNA Integrity Number (RIN). RIN values from fresh seeds were also compared with those from accessions of the same cultivar harvested in the 1980s and 1990s and stored in the refrigerator (5°C), freezer (−18°C) or in vapour above liquid nitrogen (−176°C). Rates of viability loss (P50−1) and RNA degradation (RIN⋅d−1) were highly correlated in soya bean seeds that were exposed to a broad range of temperatures [holding relative humidity (RH) constant at about 30%]. However, the correlation weakened when fresh seeds were maintained at high RH (holding temperature constant at 35°C) or exposed to oxidizing agents. Both P50−1 and RIN⋅d−1 parameters exhibited breaks in Arrhenius behaviour near 50°C, suggesting that constrained molecular mobility regulates degradation kinetics of dry systems. We conclude that the kinetics of ageing reactions at RH near 30% can be simulated by temperatures up to 50°C and that RNA degradation can indicate ageing prior to and independent of seed death.
Emerging CVD risk factors (e.g. HDL function and central haemodynamics) may account for residual CVD risk experienced by individuals who meet LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure (BP) targets. Recent evidence suggests that these emerging risk factors can be modified by polyphenol-rich interventions such as soya, but additional research is needed. This study was designed to investigate the effects of an isoflavone-containing soya protein isolate (delivering 25 and 50 g/d soya protein) on HDL function (i.e. ex vivo cholesterol efflux), macrovascular function and blood markers of CVD risk. Middle-aged adults (n 20; mean age=51·6 (sem 6·6) years) with moderately elevated brachial BP (mean systolic BP=129 (sem 9) mmHg; mean diastolic BP=82·5 (sem 8·4) mmHg) consumed 0 (control), 25 and 50 g/d soya protein in a randomised cross-over design. Soya and control powders were consumed for 6 weeks each with a 2-week compliance break between treatment periods. Blood samples and vascular function measures were obtained at baseline and following each supplementation period. Supplementation with 50 g/d soya protein significantly reduced brachial diastolic BP (−2·3 mmHg) compared with 25 g/d soya protein (Tukey-adjusted P=0·03) but not the control. Soya supplementation did not improve ex vivo cholesterol efflux, macrovascular function or other blood markers of CVD risk compared with the carbohydrate-matched control. Additional research is needed to clarify whether effects on these CVD risk factors depend on the relative health of participants and/or equol producing capacity.
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