Effects of Supplements of Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Rumen-Protected Methionine on Whole Body Metabolism of Methionine and Glucose in Lactating Dairy Cows.

Preynat, A., Lapierre, H., Thivierge, M.C., Palin, M.-F., Matte, J.J., Desrochers, A., and Girard, C.L. (2009). "Effects of Supplements of Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 and Rumen-Protected Methionine on Whole Body Metabolism of Methionine and Glucose in Lactating Dairy Cows.", Journal of Dairy Science (JDS), 92(2), pp. 677-689. doi : 10.3168/jds.2008-1525  Access to full text

Abstract

The present experiment was undertaken to determine the effects of dietary supplements of rumen-protected methionine and intramuscular injections of folic acid and vitamin B12, given 3 wk before to 16 wk after calving, on glucose and methionine metabolism of lactating dairy cows. Twenty-four multiparous Holstein cows were assigned to 6 blocks of 4 cows each according to their previous milk production. Within each block, 2 cows were fed a diet estimated to supply methionine as 1.83% metabolizable protein, equivalent to 76% of methionine requirement, whereas the 2 other cows were fed the same diet supplemented daily with 18 g of rumen-protected methionine. Within each diet, the cows were administrated either no vitamin supplement or weekly intramuscular injections of 160 mg of folic acid plus 10 mg of vitamin B12. To investigate metabolic changes at 12 wk of lactation, glucose and methionine kinetics were measured by isotope dilution using infusions of D[U-13C]glucose, [13C]NaHCO3 and L[1-13C,2H3]methionine. Milk and plasma concentrations of folic acid and vitamin B12 increased with vitamin injections. Supplementary B-vitamins increased milk production from 34.7 to 38.9 ± 1.0 kg/d as well as milk lactose, protein and total solid yields. Whole body glucose flux tended to increase with the vitamin supplementation with a similar quantitative magnitude as the milk lactose yield increment. Vitamin supplementation increased methionine utilization for protein synthesis through increased protein turnover when methionine was deficient and through decreased methionine oxidation when rumen-protected methionine was fed. Vitamin supplementation decreased plasma concentrations of homocysteine independently of rumen-protected methionine feeding, although no effect of vitamin was measured on methionine remethylation, but this could be due to the limitation of the technique used. Therefore, the effects of these B-vitamins on lactational performance were not mainly explained by methionine economy due to a more efficient methylneogenesis but were rather related to increased glucose availability and changes in methionine metabolism.