Effect of incremental levels of sunflower-seed oil in the diet on ruminal lipid metabolism in lactating cows

K. J. Shingfield, S. Ahvenjärvi, V. Toivonen, A. Vanhatalo, P. Huhtanen, J. M. Griinari

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103 Citations (SciVal)


Based on the potential benefits of cis-9, trans-11-conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for human health there is interest in developing sustainable nutritional strategies for enhancing the concentration of this fatty acid in ruminant-derived foods. Most evidence to date suggests that endogenous synthesis is the major source of cis-9, trans-11 in milk fat and ruminal outflow is limited and largely independent of dietary 18 : 2n-6 supply. Four lactating cows fitted with a rumen cannula were used in a 4 x 4 Latin square with 14 d experimental periods to examine the effects of sunflower-seed oil (SFO) as a source of 18 : 2n-6 on ruminal lipid metabolism. Cows were offered grass silage-based diets supplemented with 0, 250, 500 or 750 g SFO/d. Supplements of SFO had no effect on DM intake, milk fat or protein secretion, but increased linearly (P <0.01) milk yield and milk lactose output and shifted (P <0.001) rumen fermentation towards propionate at the expense of acetate. SFO supplements increased linearly (P <0.05) the flow of 18 : 0, 18 : 1, 18 : 2n-6 and total CLA at the omasum and enhanced ruminal cis-9-18 : 1, 18 : 2n-6 and 18 : 3n-3 metabolism. Flows of all-trans- (Delta4-16) and cis- (Delta9-16) 18 : 1 isomers were elevated, while increases in ruminal CLA outflow were confined to trans-8, trans-10 and geometric 9,11 and 10,12 isomers. It is concluded that supplementing grass silage-based diets with plant oils rich in 18 : 2n-6 enhances ruminal outflow of trans-11-18 : 1 and cis-9, trans-11-CLA in lactating cows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)971-983
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Early online date01 Nov 2007
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Diet
  • Digestion
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Fermentation
  • Lactation
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Milk
  • Omasum
  • Plant Oils
  • Rumen


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