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J Dairy Sci. 2007 Oct;90(10):4763-9.

Milk conjugated linoleic acid response to fish oil and sunflower oil supplementation to dairy cows managed under two feeding systems.

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Department of Animal Science, Food and Nutrition, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale 62901, USA.


Earlier research showed that conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) content in milk fat is highest when cows' diets are supplemented with a blend of fish oil (FO) and linoleic acid-rich oils. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of FO and sunflower oil (SFO) supplementation on milk cis-9, trans-11 CLA when dairy cows managed on pasture or in confinement. Fourteen Holstein cows were assigned into 2 treatment groups: cows grazed on alfalfa-grass pasture (PAS) or were fed corn silage-alfalfa hay mix ad libitum (LOT). Both groups were supplemented with a 8.2 kg/d grain supplement containing 640 g of FO and SFO (1:3 wt/ wt). Grain supplement was fed in 2 equal portions after each milking, for a period of 3 wk. Milk samples were collected during the last 3 d of the experimental period. Milk yield was greater with the LOT diet (23.1 kg/ d) compared with the PAS diet (19.4 kg/d). Milk fat percentages (2.51 and 2.95 for the LOT and PAS, respectively) and yields (0.57 and 0.51 kg/d) were similar for the 2 diets. Milk protein percentages were not affected by diets (3.34 and 3.35 for the LOT and PAS diets, respectively), but protein yields were lower for the PAS diet (0.61 kg/d) compared with the LOT diet (0.75 kg/ d). Treatment diets had no effect on milk trans C18:1 concentrations [10.64 and 9.82 g/100 g of total fatty acids (FA) for the LOT and PAS, respectively] or yields (60.65 and 64.01 g/d), but did affect isomers distributions. Concentration (g/100 g of total FA) of vaccenic acid was lower with the LOT diet (2.15) compared with the PAS diet (4.52), whereas concentration of trans-10 C18:1 was greater with the LOT diet (4.99) compared with the PAS diet (1.69). Milk cis-9, trans-11 CLA concentration was greater with the PAS diet (1.52) compared with the LOT diet (0.84). In conclusion, the increase in milk cis-9, trans-11 CLA content was greater when pasture-based diets were supplemented with FO and SFO. The lower cis-9, trans-11 CLA concentration in milk from the confinement-fed cows resulted from trans-10 C18:1 replacing vaccenic acid as the predominant trans C18:1 isomer.

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