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Effect of dietary enrichment with either n-3 or n-6 fatty acids on systemic metabolite and hormone concentration and ovarian function in heifers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2008

S. Childs*
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
C. O. Lynch
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
A. A. Hennessy
Affiliation:
Moorepark Food Research Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
C. Stanton
Affiliation:
Moorepark Food Research Centre, Teagasc, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
D. C. Wathes
Affiliation:
Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
J. M. Sreenan
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland
M. G. Diskin
Affiliation:
Animal Production Research Centre, Teagasc, Mellows Campus, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland
D. A. Kenny
Affiliation:
School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Abstract

The objective of this experiment was to examine the effects of dietary n-3 or n-6 fatty acid (FA) supplementation on blood FA, metabolite and hormone concentrations, follicle size and dynamics and corpus luteum (CL) size. Reproductively normal heifers (n = 24) were individually fed diets of chopped straw and concentrate containing either (i) no added lipid (CON; n = 8); (ii) 2% added fat as whole raw soya beans (WSB, n-6; n = 8); or (iii) 2% added fat as fish oil (FO, n-3; n = 8). Following oestrous cycle synchronisation, blood samples were collected at appropriate times and intervals for the measurement of hormones, FAs and metabolites. On days 15 and 16 of the cycle, animals were subjected to an intravenous oxytocin challenge and prostaglandin F (PGF) response, measured as venous concentrations of 13,14-dihydro-15-keto PGF (PGFM). Dry matter intake and average daily gain were similar among treatments (P > 0.05). Plasma concentration of linoleic acid was highest on WSB (P < 0.05), while eicosapentaenoic (EPA, n-3; P < 0.0001) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, n-3; P < 0.0001) were greatest in the FO group. Plasma concentrations of arachidonic acid were higher on FO (P < 0.05) compared with CON and WSB. Plasma triglyceride concentrations increased, while β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) decreased with time on all diets (P < 0.05). There was a diet × time interaction (P < 0.01) for non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations. Plasma cholesterol was higher on WSB and FO (P < 0.01) compared with CON. Progesterone (P4) and oestradiol (E2) concentrations, as well as follicle growth rate and CL diameter were similar across diets (P > 0.05). There was a diet × day interaction for PGFM (P < 0.01). When corrected for systemic E2 : P4 ratio, day 15 concentrations of PGFM were higher in the WSB group at 15 and 30 min (P < 0.01) post oxytocin administration compared with CON and FO, which were similar (P > 0.05). Concentrations of PGFM on day 16 were similar for WSB and FO and were greater than CON at 15 (P < 0.01) and 45 min (P < 0.05) post oxytocin administration, and at 30 min for FO (P < 0.05). With the exception of PGFM, dietary lipid source did not affect the reproductive variables measured.

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Full Paper
Copyright
Copyright © The Animal Consortium 2008

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Effect of dietary enrichment with either n-3 or n-6 fatty acids on systemic metabolite and hormone concentration and ovarian function in heifers
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