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The interaction of monensin and flaxseed hulls on ruminal and milk concentration of the mammalian lignan enterolactone in late-lactating dairy cows

  • Hélène V Petit (a1), Cristiano Côrtes (a1), Daniele da Silva (a2), Ricardo Kazama (a2), Nathalie Gagnon (a1), Chaouki Benchaar (a1), Geraldo T dos Santos (a2) and Lúcia M Zeoula (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 13 October 2009

Four ruminally fistulated multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to a 4×4 Latin square design with a 2×2 factorial arrangement of treatments to study the effects of dietary supplementation of monensin and flaxseed hulls on ruminal and milk concentration of the mammalian lignan enterolactone (EL) and ruminal and faecal activity of β-glucuronidase. The hypothesis was that monensin supplementation has no effect on the incorporation of EL into milk when cows are fed flaxseed hulls. Treatments were: 1) control, neither flaxseed hulls nor monensin (CO); 2) diet containing (dry matter basis) 20% flaxseed hulls (FH); 3) diet with monensin (16 mg/kg of dry matter; MO); 4) diet containing 20% (dry matter basis) flaxseed hulls and 16 mg/kg monensin (HM). Intake of dry matter was higher for CO and MO than for FH and HM and monensin had no effect. Milk production decreased in cows fed flaxseed hulls while monensin had no effect. Production of 4% fat-corrected milk and concentrations of milk fat, lactose, urea N, and total solids were similar among treatments. Although there was a decrease in ruminal activity of β-glucuronidase when feeding flaxseed hulls, the metabolism of plant into mammalian lignans may be increased as shown by enhanced concentration of EL in the rumen and milk. Supplementation with flaxseed hulls then may contribute to favourably change milk composition for better human health by enhancing mammalian lignan EL concentration.

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Journal of Dairy Research
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