Amino acid supplementation is key to reproductive health in dairy cows

University of Illinois researchers, including Phil Cardoso (pictured), found that rumen-protected lysine improves uterine health in dairy cows during the transitional period. Credit: University of Illinois

Lysine is an essential amino acid for dairy cows, which helps increase milk production when added to the diet in adequate levels. But could lysine benefit cows in other ways? A new study at the University of Illinois shows that rumen-protected lysine can improve uterine health if taken during the transitional period. The study, “Effect of feeding rumen-protected lysine during the transition period on postpartum uterine health of dairy cows” was published in Dairy Science Journal.

“Immediately after birth, the uterus undergoes many changes. The cow had 100lbs of calf, placenta and fluid there, but by 30-40 days after birth, the uterus should shrink again and prepare for the next. Pregnancy. Phil Cardoso, associate professor and extension specialist in the IU Department of Zoology.

Cardoso and his team added the protected belly Lysine Output to total mixed ration (TMR) of 0.54% for 28 days before delivery. After delivery, 0.4% lysine was added for an additional 28 days. Cows received added lysine before or after calving, or both, with an additional control group not consuming additional lysine in either time period.

“We found the genes involved in the production inflammatory proteins in utero with rumen-protected lysine, especially in cows that consumed the amino acid before and after parturition. And the genes involved in keeping the uterus clean were more active. Altogether, our results indicate that there is less inflammation in these cows, which means they can expend less energy defending against infection,” Cardoso says. It’s just more efficient.”

Together with the characterization gene expression In utero, the team looked for evidence of meteoritis, an inflammation of the uterus that affects 30% of the US population dairy cows after birth. While uterine inflammation overall improved with lysine supplementation, the researchers did not detect a statistical difference in uterine inflammation in cows that consumed lysine and those that did not.

“Metritis is the clinical presentation of endometritis. It requires a greater degree of challenge from the environment to appear. Our culture probably does not represent a real stress in this regard. We found a difference in the subclinical form, also called subclinical endometriosis: when we counted the number of inflammatory cells (PMN) ) in the womb, cows receiving rumen-protected lysine had fewer cells, indicating less inflammation,” says Cardoso.

The team also tracked the first postnatal follicular development cycle in the ovaries. Lysine did not affect the time of first ovulation—which averaged 18 days in milk for all groups—nor the diameter of the follicle at ovulation.

Cardoso was neither surprised nor disappointed that lysine did not affect ovulation. says health womb Immediately after birth is more important than producers think.

“When you ask farmers how they assess reproductive progress and fertility, the answer is almost always pregnancy. Farmers usually raise cows 60 to 70 days after calving, but if that doesn’t work, it’s usually due to events like endometriosis or endometriosis. Subclinical uterus Before mating, early in the cycle This research demonstrates that rumen-protected lysine can prepare your cows for success after Birth So that you can achieve a proper pregnancy later.”

The effects of lysine are in line with Cardozo’s previous work investigating rumen-protected methionine, another amino acid that is restricted in dairy cows. Methionine showed affected genes linked to ignition The production of estrogen and increase the survival of fetuses.

“Our recommendation is to use both rumen-protected methionine and lysine,” Cardoso says. “We know both Amino acids Milking cows are restricted, but it is not clear that the standard food sources – corn or bloodmeal – make it through the rumen to supply the cows with the amount they need. ”

Although rumen-protected lysine and methionine products are not widely incorporated into commercial feeds, Cardoso says nutritionists are beginning to realize their importance in the industry.

“Nutritionists are the ones to figure out what’s needed to get results, and they’re aware of rumen-protected amino acid products. But we want to educate farmers as well, so they can start the conversation with nutritionists, asking, ‘Hey, is this something that can help me?'”

Study authors include Anne Guadagnin, Laura Fehlberg, Brittney Thomas, Yusuke Sugimoto, Izuru Shinzato and Phil Cardoso.


Dietary supplements may enhance the health and reproductive capacity of dairy cattle


more information:
AR Guadagnin et al, Effect of feeding rumen-protected lysine during the transitional period on postpartum uterine health of dairy cows, Dairy Science Journal (2022). DOI: 10.3168/jds.2022-21934

the quote: amino acid supplement key to reproductive health in dairy cows (2022, September 19) Retrieved September 19, 2022 from

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