Propionate in ruminants

To overcome this herbivores have developed a symbiotic relationship with a population of microflora that inhabit a specialised region of the gut for fermentation . the caecum or rumen of ruminants. The microflora population of the gut is able to breakdown cellulose and use the glucose for its own metabolic needs. As a waste product of this process, the microflora population releases volatile fatty acids (. acetate, butyrate & propionate) which the herbivore utilises for energy. The production of these fatty acids is known as fermentation (fermentation also produces heat which keeps the animal warm).

Dietary cobalt and subsequent ruminal synthesis of vitamin B12 normally meet the requirement for vitamin B12 in ruminants. Under typical conditions, rumen synthesis of vitamin B12 would be functional by six to eight weeks of age, depending on intake of dry feed. Pre-ruminant calves, lambs and kids require supplemental vitamin B12. Vitamin B12requirements of the dairy calf are estimated between and µg per kg ( to µg per lb) body weight (NRC, 1989). On a dietary basis, the requirement of young dairy calves ranges from 20 to 40 µg per kg ( to µg per lb) of dry matter (Radostits and Bell, 1970).

Traditionally most, of not all, of the fiber in a purified diet has been supplied by cellulose, an insoluble fiber. At Purina TestDiet® we recognize the growing attention to the function of fiber in digestion and general lab animal health. Consequently, our new Purina TestDiet® DIO (diet-induced obesity) series provides equal parts of the insoluble fiber traditionally used in purified diets (cellulose) and soluble fiber (inulin), to more closely resemble a natural ingredient diet. Inulin is an oligosaccharide made from beets and artichoke and provides no measurable energy (kcal). At your request, we can modify any formula to substitute inulin, or another fiber source.

One special feature of ruminants is that lactate is not only the dominating endogenous glucogenic substrate but may also be produced in significant amounts by ruminal microbes if very high amounts of starch are fed. This is often linked to health disturbances (ruminal lactic acidosis). When absorbed from the rumen, the D -isomer of lactic acid is metabolized much slower than the L -isomer by the host ruminant. Nonetheless, gluconeogenesis is one pathway to alleviate the build-up of deleterious D -lactic acid concentrations in blood plasma in such situations ( 41–43 ). Another special feature of the ruminant is that microbial enzymes in the rumen may increase the usability of certain glucogenic substrates that are not as easily utilizable by nonruminants. The most prominent of these is 1,2-propanediol, which is applied as a feed additive in ruminant nutrition ( 16 , 44 ). Although 1,2-propanediol is only slowly metabolized by the liver (mainly to L -lactate via alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases), its intraruminal conversion to propanol and, to a lesser extent, also propanal provides more readily utilizable glucogenic substrates that finally account for more than half of the glucogenic potential of 1,2-propanediol ( 44 ).

Propionate in ruminants

propionate in ruminants

One special feature of ruminants is that lactate is not only the dominating endogenous glucogenic substrate but may also be produced in significant amounts by ruminal microbes if very high amounts of starch are fed. This is often linked to health disturbances (ruminal lactic acidosis). When absorbed from the rumen, the D -isomer of lactic acid is metabolized much slower than the L -isomer by the host ruminant. Nonetheless, gluconeogenesis is one pathway to alleviate the build-up of deleterious D -lactic acid concentrations in blood plasma in such situations ( 41–43 ). Another special feature of the ruminant is that microbial enzymes in the rumen may increase the usability of certain glucogenic substrates that are not as easily utilizable by nonruminants. The most prominent of these is 1,2-propanediol, which is applied as a feed additive in ruminant nutrition ( 16 , 44 ). Although 1,2-propanediol is only slowly metabolized by the liver (mainly to L -lactate via alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenases), its intraruminal conversion to propanol and, to a lesser extent, also propanal provides more readily utilizable glucogenic substrates that finally account for more than half of the glucogenic potential of 1,2-propanediol ( 44 ).

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