The role of calcium on neuroendocrine regulation of energy balance in periparturient dairy cattle
Norat Collazo, Leila M.
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Improved calcium status may facilitate the transition dairy cow to more effectively use supplemental fat and reduce health problems associated with negative energy balance. This research tested the effect of enhancing calcium mobilization pre-partum by feeding anionic salts on the ability of cows to consume and metabolize relatively high levels of supplemental fat postpartum. Diurnal circulating concentrations of hormones and metabolites (insulin, glucose, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and plasma calcium) were measured in early lactation. Cows fed anionic salts pre-partum and supplemental fat post-partum produced as much as 28% more milk in early lactation (week 8 through 12) than the control-fed counterparts. Endocrine and metabolic parameters indicate feeding an anionic salt prepartum diet enhanced calcium status in early lactation and improved insulin responsiveness, dietary fat utilization, and adipose tissue mobilization in a manner consistent with greater animal health and productivity.