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Impact of Macronutrient Composition of Milk Replacer on Glucose Metabolism and Intestinal Health of Neonatal Calves

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Title: Impact of Macronutrient Composition of Milk Replacer on Glucose Metabolism and Intestinal Health of Neonatal Calves
Author: Welboren, Anna Catharina
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Steele, Michael
Abstract: Milk replacers (MR) formulated to contain more lactose than whole milk could potentially reduce insulin sensitivity and gut barrier function in dairy calves. Three studies were conducted to characterize the impact of fat, protein and lactose content, and the fatty acid composition, of MR on glucose-insulin kinetics, gastrointestinal tract (GIT) growth and function. In the first study, thirty-four calves were fed a high lactose (HL; 46.1%DM lactose) or a high fat (HF; 24.6%DM fat) MR during the first week of life. Partially replacing lactose with fat in MR resulted in smaller fluctuations in postprandial glucose and insulin concentrations and tended to increase postprandial, but not fasting, insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, it resulted in a heavier and more permeable gut, with minor histomorphological differences. In the second study, thirty-four calves were fed a control MR (CON; 48.8%DM lactose, 21.2%DM fat and 23.3%DM CP) at 131 kcal/kg BW^0.85 per day or control MR supplemented with butterfat (FAT), protein (PRO) or lactose (LAC) at 161 kcal/kg BW^0.85 per day for 3 wk. Proportionally, weights and lengths of intestinal segments did not differ between treatments. The FAT calves had longer villi and a larger surface area index throughout the small intestine than CON, with LAC and PRO in between. This study suggests that macronutrient supplementation results in minor differences in intestinal structural development in neonatal calves. In the third study, 30 calves were fed MR with an omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 40:1 (CONTROL) or 6.5:1 (OMEGA-3) for 3 wk. Urinary recovery of Cr, lactulose and D-mannitol was lower in OMEGA-3 from 6-24 h after marker administration but total urinary recovery (0-24 h) and plasma concentrations were unaffected. This study suggests that incorporating omega-3 FA in the plasma membrane may increase epithelial integrity and tight junction complex function, although gastrointestinal permeability was largely unaffected. Furthermore, inclusion of linseed and algae oil may promote inflammation demonstrating that fat sources should be evaluated for their suitability to include in MR formulations. The results of this research demonstrate that MR composition impacts dairy calf health and metabolism, which could lead to improved nutritional strategies on farm.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10214/26700
Date: 2022-01
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Related Publications: Welboren, A. C., Hatew, B., López-Campos, O., Cant, J. P., Leal, L. N., Martín-Tereso, J., and Steele, M. A. (2021). Effects of energy source in milk replacer on glucose metabolism of neonatal dairy calves. J. Dairy Sci. 104. 5009-5020. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2020-19405Welboren, A. C., Hatew, B., Renaud, J. B., Leal, L. N., Martín-Tereso, J., and Steele, M. A. (2021). Intestinal adaptations to energy source of milk replacer in neonatal dairy calves. J. Dairy Sci. 104. 12079-12093. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2021-20516


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