Two experiments were conducted to investigate the production effects of N-acetyl-L-methionine (NALM; experiment 1) and to estimate its bioavailability (BA) and rumen escape (RE; experiment 2), respectively, in lactating dairy cows. In experiment 1, 18 multiparous Holstein cows were used in a replicated, 3 × 3 Latin square design experiment with three 28-d periods. Treatments were (1) basal diet estimated to supply 45 g/d digestible Met (dMet) or 1.47% of metabolizable protein (MP; control), (2) basal diet top-dressed with 32 g/d of NALM to achieve dMet supply of 2.2% of MP, and (3) basal diet top-dressed with 56 g/d of NALM to achieve dMet supply of 2.6% of MP. The NALM treatments supplied estimated 17 and 29 g/d dMet from NALM, respectively, based on manufacturer's specifications. In experiment 2, 4 rumen-cannulated lactating Holstein cows were used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design experiment with four 12-d periods. A 12-d period for baseline data collection and 4 d for determination of RE of NALM preceded the Latin square experiment. For determination of RE, 30 g of NALM were dosed into the rumen simultaneously with Cr-EDTA (used as a rumen fluid kinetics marker) and samples of ruminal contents were collected at 0 (before dosing), 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, and 24 h after dosing. Rumen escape of NALM was calculated using the estimated passage rate based on the measured Cr rate of disappearance. Bioavailability of abomasally dosed NALM was determined using the area under the curve of plasma Met concentration technique. Two doses of L-Met (providing 7.5 and 15 g of dMet) and 2 doses of NALM (11.2 and 14.4 g of dMet) were separately pulse-dosed into the abomasum of the cows and blood was collected from the jugular vein for Met concentration analysis at 0 (before dosing), 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 18, and 24 h after dosing. Supplementation of NALM did not affect DMI, milk yield, feed efficiency, or milk protein and lactose concentrations and yields in experiment 1. Milk fat concentration and energy-corrected milk yield decreased linearly with NALM dose. Plasma Met concentration was not affected by NALM dose. The estimated relative BA of abomasally dosed NALM (experiment 2) was 50% when dosed at 14.4 g/cow (11.2 g/d dMet from NALM) and 24% when dosed at 28.8 g/cow (14.4 g/d dMet from NALM). The estimated RE of NALM was 19% based on the measured kp of Cr at 11%/h. The total availability of ingested NALM was estimated at 9.5% for the lower NALM dose when taking into account RE (19%) and bioavailability in the small intestine (50%). Overall, NALM supplementation to mid-lactation dairy cows fed a MP-adequate basal diet below NRC (2001) recommendations (45 g/d or 1.47% Met of MP) decreased milk fat and energy-corrected milk yields but did not affect milk or milk true protein yields. Further evaluation of BA of NALM at different doses is warranted. In addition, intestinal conversion of NALM to Met needs additional investigation to establish a possible saturation of the enzyme aminoacylase I at higher NALM doses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology