Advances in fatty acids nutrition in dairy cows: from gut to cells and effects on performance


Source: Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology

Bionaz, M., Vargas-Bello-Pérez, E. & Busato, S. Advances in fatty acids nutrition in dairy cows: from gut to cells and effects on performance. J Animal Sci Biotechnol 11, 110 (2020).


High producing dairy cows generally receive in the diet up to 5–6% of fat. This is a relatively low amount of fat in the diet compared to diets in monogastrics; however, dietary fat is important for dairy cows as demonstrated by the benefits of supplementing cows with various fatty acids (FA). Several FA are highly bioactive, especially by affecting the transcriptome; thus, they have nutrigenomic effects. In the present review, we provide an up-to-date understanding of the utilization of FA by dairy cows including the main processes affecting FA in the rumen, molecular aspects of the absorption of FA by the gut, synthesis, secretion, and utilization of chylomicrons; uptake and metabolism of FA by peripheral tissues, with a main emphasis on the liver, and main transcription factors regulated by FA. Most of the advances in FA utilization by rumen microorganisms and intestinal absorption of FA in dairy cows were made before the end of the last century with little information generated afterwards. However, large advances on the molecular aspects of intestinal absorption and cellular uptake of FA were made on monogastric species in the last 20 years. We provide a model of FA utilization in dairy cows by using information generated in monogastrics and enriching it with data produced in dairy cows. We also reviewed the latest studies on the effects of dietary FA on milk yield, milk fatty acid composition, reproduction, and health in dairy cows. The reviewed data revealed a complex picture with the FA being active in each step of the way, starting from influencing rumen microbiota, regulating intestinal absorption, and affecting cellular uptake and utilization by peripheral tissues, making prediction on in vivo nutrigenomic effects of FA challenging.

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