Article| Volume 83, ISSUE 12, P2907-2917, December 2000

Download started.


Impact of Dietary Rumen Undegradable Protein and Rumen-Protected Choline on Intake, Peripartum Liver Triacylglyceride, Plasma Metabolites and Milk Production in Transition Dairy Cows

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      The objectives of the present study were to determine the effects of rumen undegradable protein (RUP) level of prepartum diets, the supplementation of a rumen-protected choline product, and their interactions on milk production, feed intake, body weight and condition, blood metabolites, and liver triacylglycerides in dairy cows. Rumen-protected choline (RPC) was fed with two levels of RUP to 48 multiparous Holstein cows in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Beginning 28 d before expected calving, cows were fed 10% rumen degradable protein, either 0, 6, or 12 g/d of RPC as CapShure (Balchem Corp., Slate Hill, NY) and either 4.0 or 6.2% RUP. After calving and through 120 d of lactation, cows received a common diet and continued RPC as per their prepartum assignment. Prepartum dry matter intake (kg/d) was not affected by RPC or RUP. Postpartum intake decreased when 6.2% RUP was fed prepartum. Milk production to 56 d in milk was decreased when cows were fed 6.2% RUP prepartum. Milk protein (kg/d) decreased when additional RUP was fed prepartum. Cows fed RPC lost more weight during the study period and tended to lose more body condition. Plasma urea nitrogen levels in the prepartum period were reduced for cows fed 4.0% RUP prepartum. Mean liver triacylglyceride determined from samples obtained at –28, –14, +1, +28, and +56 d in milk was not affected by RPC, prepartum RUP, or their combinations. Feeding 12 g of RPC/d in conjunction with 4.0% RUP increased milk production, but feeding RPC with 6.2% RUP prepartum and through 56 d in milk decreased production. The data indicate that 6.2% RUP does not benefit close-up dry cows, and the response to RPC depends the RUP content of the prepartum diet.

      Key words

      Abbreviation key:

      MUN (milk urea nitrogen), PUN (plasma urea nitrogen), RPC (rumen-protected choline), VLDL (very low density lipoprotein)


        • Aoyama Y.
        • Ishikawa T.
        • Amano N.
        • Yoshida A.
        Lipid accumulation in the liver of rats fed soy protein isolate diet with excess cysteine, and its prevention by methionine or choline.
        Biosci. Biotech. Biochem. 1992; 56: 656-659
        • Auboiron S.
        • Durand D.
        • Robert J.C.
        • Chapman M.J.
        • Bauchart D.
        Effects of dietary fat and L-methionine on the hepatic metabolism of very low-density lipoproteins in the preruminant calf.
        Bos spp. Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 1995; 35: 167-178
        • Battaglia F.C.
        • Meschia G.
        Principal substrates of fetal metabolism.
        Physiol. Rev. 1978; 58: 499-527
        • Bell A.W.
        • Sleptis R.
        • Ehrhardt R.A.
        Growth and accretion of energy and protein in the gravid uterus during late pregnancy in Holstein cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1995; 78: 1954-1961
        • Bertics S.J.
        • Grummer R.R.
        • Cadorniga-Valino C.
        Effect of prepartum dry matter intake on liver triglyceride concentration and early lactation.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1992; 75: 1914-1922
        • Block E.
        Manipulation of cation-anion difference on nutritionally related production diseases, productivity, and metabolic responses.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1994; 77: 1437-1450
        • Cadorniga-Valino C.
        • Grummer R.R.
        • Armentano L.E.
        • Donkin S.S.
        • Bertics S.J.
        Effects of fatty acids and hormones on fatty acid metabolism and gluconeogenesis in bovine hepatocytes.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1997; 80: 646-656
        • Carter A.L.
        • Frenkel R.
        The relationship of choline and carnitine in the choline deficient rat.
        J. Nutr. 1978; 108: 1748-1754
        • Dawson R.M.C.
        • Grime D.W.
        • Lindsay D.K.
        On the insensitivity of sheep to the almost complete microbial destruction of dietary choline before alimentary-tract absorption.
        Biochem. J. 1981; 196: 499-504
        • Deuchler K.N.
        • Piperova L.S.
        • Erdman R.A.
        Milk choline secretion as an indicator of postruminal choline supply.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1998; 81: 238-242
        • Dole V.P.
        A relation between non-esterified fatty acids in plasma and the metabolism of glucose.
        J. Clin. Invest. 1956; 35: 150-154
        • Drackley J.K.
        • Beitz D.C.
        • Young J.W.
        Regulation of in vitro palmitate oxidation in liver from dairy cows during early lactation.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1991; 74: 1884-1892
        • Durand D.
        • Chilliard Y.
        • Bauchart D.
        Effects of lysine and methionine on in vivo hepatic secretion of VLDL in the high yielding dairy cow.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1992; 75 (Abstr.): 279
        • Emmanuel B.
        • Kennelly J.J.
        Kinetics of methionine and choline and their incorporation into plasma lipids and milk components in lactating goats.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1984; 67: 1912-1918
        • Erdman R.A.
        in: VanHorn H.H. Wilcox C.J. Large Dairy Herd Management. Am. Dairy Sci. Assoc., Savoy, IL1992: 297-308
        • Erdman R.A.
        • Sharma B.K.
        Effect of dietary rumenprotected choline in lactating dairy cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1991; 5: 1641-1647
        • Ferguson J.D.
        • Galligan D.T.
        • Thomsen N.
        Principal descriptors of body condition score in Holstein cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1994; 77: 2695-2703
        • Fletcher M.J.
        A calorimetric method for estimating serum triglycerides.
        Clin. Chim. Acta. 1968; 22: 393-397
        • Foster L.B.
        • Dunn R.T.
        Stable reagents for determination of serum triglycerides by a calorimetric Hantzsch condensation method.
        Clin. Chem. 1973; 19: 338-340
        • Greenfield R.B.
        • Cecava M.J.
        • Johnson T.R.
        • Donkin S.S.
        Impact of dietary protein amount and rumen undegradability on intake, peripartum liver triglyceride, plasma metabolites and milk production in transition dairy cattle.
        J. Dairy Sci. 2000; 83: 703-710
        • Griffith O.W.
        Mammalian sulfur amino acid metabolism: An overview.
        Methods Enzymol. 1987; 143: 366-376
        • Grummer R.R.
        Impact of changes in organic nutrient metabolism on feeding the transition dairy cow.
        J. Anim. Sci. 1995; 73: 2820-2833
        • Holter J.B.
        • Slotnick M.J.
        • Hayes H.H.
        • Bozak C.K.
        • Urban Jr., W.E.
        • McGilliard M.L.
        Effect of prepartum dietary energy on condition score, postpartum energy, nitrogen partitions, and lactation production responses.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1990; 73: 3502-3511
        • Johnson M.M.
        • Peters J.P.
        Technical Note: An improved method to quantify nonesterified fatty acids in bovine plasma.
        J. Anim. Sci. 1993; 71: 753-756
        • Jones G.P.
        • Garnsworthy P.C.
        The effects of body condition at calving and dietary protein content on dry-matter intake and performance in lactating dairy cows given diets of low energy content.
        Anim. Prod. 1988; 47: 321-333
        • Komaragiri M.V.
        • Erdman R.A.
        Factors affecting body tissue mobilization in early lactation dairy cows. 1. Effect of dietary protein on mobilization of body fat and protein.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1997; 80: 929-937
        • Labarca C.
        • Paigan K.
        A simple rapid and sensitive DNA assay procedure.
        Anal. Biochem. 1980; 102: 344-352
        • LaCount D.W.
        • Emmert L.S.
        • Drackley J.K.
        Dose response of dairy cows to abomasal administration of four amounts of L-carnitine.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1996; 79: 591-602
        • Lombardi B.
        • Pani P.
        • Schlunk F.F.
        Choline-deficiency fatty liver: impaired release of hepatic triglycerides.
        J. Lipid Res. 1968; 4: 437-446
        • Moorby J.M.
        • Dewhurst R.J.
        • Marsden S.
        Effect of increasing digestible undegraded protein supply to dairy cows in late gestation on the yield and composition of milk during the subsequent lactation.
        Anim. Sci. 1996; 63: 201-213
        • Morrow D.A.
        Fat cow syndrome.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1976; 59: 1625-1629
        • National Research Council
        Nutrient Requirements of Dairy Cattle.
        6th rev. ed. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC1989
        • Nocek J.E.
        In situ and other methods to estimate ruminal protein and energy digestibility: A review.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1988; 71: 2051-2069
        • Overton T.R.
        • Emmert L.S.
        • Clark J.H.
        Effects of source of carbohydrate and protein and rumen-protected methionine on performance of cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1998; 81: 221-228
        • Park E.I.
        • Garrow T.A.
        Interaction between dietary methionine and methyl donor intake on rat liver betaine-omocysteine methyltransferase gene expression and organization of the human gene.
        J. Biol. Chem. 1999; 274: 7816-7824
        • Piepenbrink M.S.
        • Schingoethe D.J.
        Ruminal degradation, amino acid composition, and estimated intestinal digestibilities of four protein supplements.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1998; 81: 454-461
        • Pomfret E.A.
        • DaCosta K.
        • Ziesel S.H.
        Effects of choline deficiency and methotrexate treatment upon rat liver.
        J. Nutr. Biochem. 1990; 1: 533-541
        • Putnam D.E.
        • Varga G.A.
        Protein density and its influence on metabolite concentration and nitrogen retention by holstein cows in late gestation.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1998; 81: 1608-1618
        • Reid I.M.
        • Collins R.A.
        The pathology of post-parturient fatty liver in high-yielding dairy cows.
        Invest. Cell Pathol. 1980; 3: 237-249
        • Reid I.M.
        • Roberts C.J.
        • Treacher R.J.
        • Williams L.A.
        Effect of body condition at calving on tissue mobilization, development of fatty liver and blood chemistry of dairy cows.
        Anim. Prod. 1986; 43: 7-15
      1. SAS Users Guide: Statistics, Release 6.03 Edition, 1988. SAS Inst., Inc., Cary, NC.

        • Sharma B.K.
        • Erdman R.A.
        Effects of high amounts of dietary choline supplementation on duodenal choline flow and production responses of dairy cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1988; 71: 2670-2676
        • Sharma B.K.
        • Erdman R.A.
        Effects of dietary and abomasally infused choline on milk production responses of lactating dairy cows.
        J. Nutr. 1989; 119: 248-254
        • Sharma B.K.
        • Yousif G.
        • VandeHaar M.J.
        Prepartum diets more nutrient-dense than recommended by NRC do not Journal of Dairy Science. No 12, 2000 enhance milk yield or alter body weight changes in dairy cows postpartum.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1995; 78 (Abstr.): 265
        • Van Saun R.J.
        • Idleman S.C.
        • Sniffen C.J.
        Effect of undegradable protein amount fed prepartum on postpartum production in first lactation holstein cows.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1993; 76: 236-244
        • Van Saun R.J.
        • Sniffen C.J.
        Effects of undegradable protein fed prepartum on lactation, reproduction, and health in dairy cattle. II. Postpartum diets and performance.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1995; 78 (Abstr.): 265
        • Van Saun R.J.
        • Sniffen C.J.
        Nutritional management of the pregnant dairy cow to optimize health, lactation and reproductive performance.
        Anim. Feed Sci. Tech. 1996; 59: 13-26
        • Wildman E.E.
        • Jones G.M.
        • Wagner P.E.
        • Bowman R.L.
        • Trout H.F.
        • Lesch T.N.
        A dairy cow body condition scoring system and its relationship to selected production variables in high producing Holstein dairy cattle.
        J. Dairy Sci. 1982; 65: 495-501
        • Yao Z.
        • Vance D.E.
        The active synthesis of phosphatidylcholine is required for very low density lipoprotein secretion from rat heptocytes.
        J. Biol. Chem. 1988; 263: 2998-3004
        • Yao Z.
        • Vance D.E.
        Reduction in VLDL, but not HDL, in plasma of rats deficient in choline.
        Biochem. Cell Biol. 1990; 2: 552-558