Nutrition and welfare: role of inflammation and its modulation

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In humans, the tremendous changes occurring during diseases (e.g. fever, anorexia, depression, then reduction of welfare) are mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1, IL-6, TNFα). These can be modulated by nutrition that is therefore able to decrease the effect or the risk of inflammation in both disease and healthy situations. Aim of this paper was the supply Ascophyllum nodosum (AN, 50 g/capo/d) to dairy cows around calving (±2 wk) to reduce inflammations often occurring in this period. Eight cows (4 treated and 4 untreated = CTR) were frequently checked around calving (±4 wk) for health status, feed intake, rectal temperature, BCS, milk yield and composition and metabolic profile. Weekly energy balance (EB) and the net energy efficiency (NEE) were also evaluated. Statistical analysis was based on repeated measures variance test, using a model that includes treatment, days and their interaction. During peripartum cows of both groups suffered of some mild diseases, but AN group showed a lower somatic cell count till 28th day in milk (DIM; 129±126 vs 205±206 n/μl of CTR) and a lower rectal temperature before calving, but not in the wk after calving, likely for 2 cases of retained placenta in the AN group. AN exhibited higher values of haptoglobin and myeloperoxidase till 14th DIM, suggesting a marked acute phase reaction and, possibly, an abundance of neutrophil granulocytes into the blood. Nevertheless, AN vs CTR showed a quicker raise of plasma cholesterol and similar levels of other negative acute phase proteins. Moreover, AN had a slightly higher feed intake; a similar milk yield, a sensibly lower fat content and a reduced lipomobilization (e.g. higher glucose and lower level of BHB: 0.8±0.4 vs 1.4±0.9 of CTR till 28th DIM). Altogether, these last changes have determined a better EB in AN (+2 Mcal/cow/d after calving) and similar NEE. On the whole, AN seems to exert a positive effect on welfare of periparturient dairy cows.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteBook of Abatract of the 62nd Annual Meeting of EAAP
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
Evento62nd Annual Meeting of EAAP - Stavanger
Durata: 29 ago 20112 set 2011


Convegno62nd Annual Meeting of EAAP


  • inflammation


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