Plasma concentrations of PGFM and uterine and ovarian responses in early lactation dairy cows fed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

Dirandeh, E., Towhidi, A., Ansari Pirsaraei, Z., Adib Hashemi, F., Ganjkhanlou, M., Zeinoaldini, S., Rezaei Roodbari, A., Saberifar, T., and Petit, H.V. (2013). "Plasma concentrations of PGFM and uterine and ovarian responses in early lactation dairy cows fed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids", Theriogenology, 80(2), pp. 131-137. doi : 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2013.03.012  Access to full text

Abstract

A total of 120 dairy cows were assigned randomly to three diets to determine the effects of omega-6 or omega-3 fatty acid (FA) supplementation on uterine diseases, ovarian responses, and blood concentrations of estradiol, progesterone, and PGFM in lactating Holstein dairy cows. Diets contained either protected palm oil (C), extruded linseed (L), or roasted whole soybeans (S), and they were fed from calving to Day 70 postpartum. Estrous cycles were synchronized and ovarian follicular development was monitored daily for an entire cycle. There were no differences among diets in the incidence of lameness, mastitis, or metritis, but the incidence of clinical endometritis was lower (P < 0.05) in cows fed S (0%) compared with cows fed C (28.2%) and L (20.5%). Uterine involution in cows fed S occurred 3.77 and 2.78 days earlier, respectively, than in those fed C and L. The PGFM response 60 minutes after an oxytocin challenge was highest for cows fed S and lowest for cows fed L. Mean plasma progesterone concentration on Day 15 of the synchronized cycle was higher in cows fed S (14.5 ng/mL) and L (15.0 ng/mL) than in those fed C (12.0 ng/mL). The ovulatory follicle on Day 21 of the estrous cycle (estrous = Day 0) was larger in cows fed S (16.1 ± 0.9 mm) and L (15.7 ± 0.7 mm) compared with cows fed C (13.2 ± 0.87 mm; P = 0.02) but there were no significant differences between cows fed diets S and L. The mean number of small and medium follicles and diameter of subordinate follicle were similar among diets. In conclusion, feeding a source of omega-6 FA can be a strategy to improve uterine health after calving, although a source of omega-3 FA such as L should be fed after uterine involution to decrease PGF2α secretion.

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