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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Madison, Wisconsin » U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center » Dairy Forage Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329437

Research Project: Forage Characteristics that Alter Feed Utilization, Manure Characteristics and Environmental Impacts of Dairy Production

Location: Dairy Forage Research

Title: Single-dose infusion of sodium butyrate, but not lactose, increases plasma ß-hydroxybutyrate and insulin in lactating dairy cows

item Herrick, Kevin - South Dakota State University
item Hippen, Arnold - South Dakota State University
item Kalscheur, Kenneth
item Schingoethe, David - South Dakota State University
item Casper, David - South Dakota State University
item Moreland, Steven - Nutriad Inc
item Van Eys, Jan - Nutriad Inc

Submitted to: Journal of Dairy Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2016
Publication Date: 11/9/2016
Citation: Herrick, K.J., Hippen, A.R., Kalscheur, K., Schingoethe, D.J., Casper, D.P., Moreland, S.C., Van Eys, J.E. 2016. Single-dose infusion of sodium butyrate, but not lactose, increases plasma ß-hydroxybutyrate and insulin in lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science. 100:757-768.

Interpretive Summary: A cow’s rumen contains millions of microbes that digest fiber, provide protein, and produce volatile fatty acids that increase the energy supply to the cow. Butyrate is 1 of the 3 main volatile fatty acids produced, and benefits of butyrate supplementation have been well documented in monogastric and young ruminant animals with undeveloped rumens. However, the effects of butyrate supplementation in mature ruminants have not been as thoroughly investigated. It has been demonstrated that butyrate supplementation positively affects multiple systems within the animal. The combination of these effects has the potential to improve energy balance of lactating dairy cows which would lead to improved performance and profitability. This research established a potential maximum amount of butyrate that mature ruminants can tolerate. In addition to the effects of dosing butyrate, we also determined that singly dosing lactose, which produces butyrate during fermentation, was ineffective at indirectly increasing rumen butyrate concentrations. This research will be of interest to researchers, nutritionists, and dairy producers interested increasing energy supply to the cow and potentially improving cow health.

Technical Abstract: Several previous studies have identified beneficial effects of butyrate on rumen development and intestinal health in pre-ruminants. These encouraging findings have led to further investigations related to butyrate supplementation in the mature ruminant. However, the maximum tolerable dosage rate of butyrate has not been established. Additionally, the effects of elevated butyrate concentration on rumen metabolism have not been investigated. Therefore, the first objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of a short-term increase in rumen butyrate concentration on key metabolic indicators. The second objective was to evaluate the source of butyrate either directly dosed in the rumen or indirectly supplied via lactose fermentation in the rumen. Jugular catheters were inserted into 4 ruminally-fistulated Holstein cows in a 4 × 4 Latin square with 3 d periods. On d 1 of each period, 1 h after feeding, cows were ruminally-dosed with 1of 4 treatments: 1) 2 L of water (CON), 2) 3.5 g/kg BW of lactose (LAC), 3) 1 g/kg BW of butyrate (1GB), or 4) 2 g/kg BW of butyrate (2GB). Sodium butyrate was the source of butyrate and NaCl was added to CON, LAC, and 1GB to provide equal amounts of sodium as the 2GB treatment. Serial plasma and rumen fluid samples were collected during d 1 of each period. Rumen fluid pH was greater in cows given the 1GB and 2GB treatments compared with the cows given the LAC treatment. Cows administered the 1GB and 2GB treatments had greater rumen butyrate concentrations compared with LAC. Those cows also had greater plasma butyrate concentrations compared with cows given the LAC treatment. Based on plasma and rumen metabolites, singly infusing 3.5 g/kg BW of lactose into the rumen is not as effective at providing a source of butyrate as compared with singly infusing 1 or 2 g/kg BW of butyrate into the rumen. Additionally, cows administered the 1GB treatment were less affected than cows given the 2GB treatment which would suggest that singly dosing 1 g/kg BW of butyrate could serve as the maximum tolerable concentration for future research.