The effects of flax meal (FM) on the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT)) in the blood, mammary tissue and ruminal fluid, and oxidative stress indicators (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl-scavenging activity) in the milk, plasma and ruminal fluid of dairy cows were determined. The mRNA abundance of the antioxidant enzymes and oxidative stress-related genes was assessed in mammary tissue. A total of eight Holstein cows were used in a double 4 £ 4 Latin square design. There were four treatments in the diet: control with no FM (CON) or 5 % FM (5FM), 10 % FM (10FM) and 15 % FM (15FM). There was an interaction between treatment and time for plasma GPx and CAT activities. Cows supplemented with FM had a linear reduction in TBARS at 2 h after feeding, and there was no treatment effect at 0, 4 and 6 h after feeding. TBARS production decreased in the milk of cows fed the 5FM and 10FM diets. There was a linear increase in nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NFE2L2) mRNA abundance in mammary tissue with FM supplementation. A linear trend for increased mRNA abundance of the CAT gene was observed with higher concentrations of FM. The mRNA abundance of CAT, GPx1, GPx3, SOD1, SOD2, SOD3 and nuclear factor of k light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells (NFKB) genes was not affected by the treatment. These findings suggest that FM supplementation can improve the oxidative status of Holstein cows as suggested by decreased TBARS production in ruminal fluid 2 h post-feeding and increased NFE2L2/nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) mRNA abundance in mammary tissue.Key words: Catalase: 1,1-Diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl: Glutathione peroxidase: Superoxide dismutase: Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances High-yielding dairy cows are prone to oxidative stress due to intensive metabolic demands for maintenance and production. This condition can be exacerbated under certain environmental, physiological and dietary factors (1,2) . Although lipid supplementation of ruminant diets with n-3 PUFA is a strategy to improve the nutritional quality of dairy products, this approach could increase the risk of plasma peroxidation with deleterious consequences on animal health (3) . Peroxidation results from oxidative metabolism, which is essential for the survival of cells. However, a side effect of this phenomenon is the production of free radicals and other reactive oxygen species that can cause oxidative damage (2) . Normally, the body is protected by a wide range of antioxidant systems working in concert with intracellular enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT), which remove superoxides and peroxides before they react with metal catalysts to form more reactive compounds (4) . Lactation performance and antioxidant status of cows fed oxidised fat are enhanced when antioxidants are included in the diet (5) , which may be due to the scavenging of peroxides a...
The effects of feeding pelleted citrus pulp (PCP) as a natural antioxidant source on the performance and milk quality of dairy cows fed highly polyunsaturated fatty acid (FA) diets were evaluated. Four lactating Holstein cows were assigned to a 4×4 Latin-square. Treatments, on a dry matter (DM) basis, were i) control diet; ii) 3% soybean oil; iii) 3% soybean oil and 9% PCP and; iv) 3% soybean oil and 18% PCP. When cows fed on citrus pulp, the DM intake tended to decrease. The total tract apparent digestibility of DM and ether extract decreased when cows fed on the control diet compared to other diets. Cows fed PCP had higher polyphenols and flavonoids content and higher total ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) in milk compared to those fed no pelleted citrus pulp. Cows fed 18% PCP showed higher monounsaturated FA and lower saturated FA in milk fat compared with cows fed the other diets. The lowest n-6 FA proportion was in milk fat from cows fed control. The present study suggests that pelleted citrus pulp added to 9% to 18% DM increases total polyphenols and flavonoids concentration, and the FRAP in milk.
Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), the most abundant lignan in flaxseed, is metabolized by the ruminal microbiota into enterolignans, which are strong antioxidants. Enterolactone (EL), the main mammalian enterolignan produced in the rumen, is transferred into physiological fluids, with potentially human health benefits with respect to menopausal symptoms, hormone-dependent cancers, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and diabetes. However, no information exists to our knowledge on bacterial taxa that play a role in converting plant lignans into EL in ruminants. In order to investigate this, eight rumen cannulated cows were used in a double 4×4 Latin square design and fed with four treatments: control with no flax meal (FM), or 5%, 10% and 15% FM (on a dry matter basis). Concentration of EL in the rumen increased linearly with increasing FM inclusion. Total rumen bacterial 16S rRNA concentration obtained using Q-PCR did not differ among treatments. PCR-T-RFLP based dendrograms revealed no global clustering based on diet indicating between animal variation. PCR-DGGE showed a clustering by diet effect within four cows that had similar basal ruminal microbiota. DNA extracted from bands present following feeding 15% FM and absent with no FM supplementation were sequenced and it showed that many genera, in particular Prevotella spp., contributed to the metabolism of lignans. A subsequent in vitro study using selected pure cultures of ruminal bacteria incubated with SDG indicated that 11 ruminal bacteria were able to convert SDG into secoisolariciresinol (SECO), with Prevotella spp. being the main converters. These data suggest that Prevotella spp. is one genus playing an important role in the conversion of plant lignans to human health beneficial antioxidants in the rumen.
The objective of this study was to describe barn management practices and to evaluating cow locomotion, hygiene and hock lesion prevalence of dairy cows housed in Compost Barns (CB) located in the subtropical region of Brazil. The CB has demonstrated satisfactory results in relation to animal comfort and productivity. However, modifications to the initial American recommendations are being made by producers in order to adapt it to different conditions. Thirty dairy farms were analyzed regarding structural measurements and layout, management practices, bedded pack and herd characteristics. The main results highlighted were the resting space of 14.6 m2 cow-1, most of the farms (87%) had newly built facilities and only 43.3% were built in E-W direction. Most farms did not have ridge opening and 60 % had fans in the bedded pack area, which is mostly stirred twice a day. About a third of the farms used CB only during the hottest hours of the day or rainy periods, with pasture access the remainder of the time. The bedded pack material averaged 48.4% DM, pH of 8.68, C:N of 5.90 and deep bedding temperature of 42.52 ⁰C. Locomotion scoring showed majority of the cows with a normal gait (95.5% of cows scoring 1 or 2 for locomotion). Hock lesions were observed in 15.5% of the animals and 84.0% of the cows were clean or only slightly dirty. This study indicates characteristics or issues to start an improvement process on CB usage in Brazilian subtropical region. The cow comfort was considered adequate, based on results of cow locomotion, lesions and hygiene scoring.
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