Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 6, November-December 2005
Page(s) 665 - 688
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 665-688
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005059

Effect of dietary energy source on energy balance, production, metabolic disorders and reproduction in lactating dairy cattle

Ariëtte T.M. van Knegsela, b, Henry van den Branda, Jan Dijkstrab, Seerp Tammingab and Bas Kempa

a  Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
b  Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands

(Received 18 May 2005; accepted 22 June 2005)

Abstract - The pathway for oxidation of energy involves a balanced oxidation of C2 and C3 compounds. During early lactation in dairy cattle this C2/C3 ratio is out of balance, due to a high availability of lipogenic (C2) products and a low availability of glycogenic (C3) products relative of the C2 and C3 products required for milk production. This review compares studies which manipulated dietary energy source and shows that dietary energy source can affect the balance of the C2/C3 ratio, as indicated by plasma NEFA, $\beta$-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) and glucose levels. It is shown that glycogenic nutrients increase glucose and insulin concentrations and decrease NEFA and BHBA plasma levels. Extra lipogenic nutrients elevate NEFA and BHBA and decrease plasma glucose concentrations. Lipogenic nutrients generally increase milk fat percentage and decrease milk protein percentage, suggesting a surplus of C2 compounds. The inverse is the case for feeding extra glycogenic nutrients, implying reduced deamination and oxidation of glycogenic amino acids. Feeding extra glycogenic nutrients improved the energy balance (EB), in contrast to ambiguous results of lipogenic nutrients on EB. Moreover, glycogenic feed may reduce the severity of ketosis and fatty liver, but increased the incidence of (sub)clinical acidosis. Since studies are scarce, it seems difficult to draw conclusions on the effects of dietary energy source on reproduction. However, lipogenic nutrients decrease glucose and increase NEFA and BHBA plasma levels. High plasma NEFA and BHBA and low plasma glucose levels are associated with decreased reproductive performance, which might imply the C2/C3 compound balance to be important for reproductive function.

Key words: lipogenic nutrients / glycogenic nutrients / reproduction / energy metabolism

Corresponding author: Ariëtte T.M. van Knegsel

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005