Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
REVIEW

Effects of common dietary fatty acids on milk yield and concentrations of fat and fatty acids in dairy cattle

J. R. R. Dorea A and L. E. Armentano A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Dairy Science, University of Wisconsin, 1675 Observatory Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: learment@wisc.edu

Animal Production Science 57(11) 2224-2236 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN17335
Submitted: 17 May 2017  Accepted: 15 August 2017   Published: 20 September 2017

Abstract

The objective of the present article was to summarise the effects of five common dietary fatty acids (C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2 and C18:3) on the major milk fat groups (<C16, C16 and C18). Forty published papers were reviewed to evaluate the effect of adding free fat or oil supplements rich in C16 and C18 fatty acids on the response of milk fat secretion and composition. From those 40 studies, 21 were used to investigate the effect of total dietary concentration of C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2 and C18:3 on milk secretion or concentrations of milk <C16, C16 and C18 fatty acid groups. The results indicated that C16 supplementation increased total milk fatty acids, mainly by increasing milk C16 yield, without affecting milk <C16 and C18 yield. Supplements rich in unsaturated fatty acid decreased total milk fatty acid by inhibiting secretion of milk fatty acids shorter than C18, with linoleic acid being the most inhibitory. Mixtures of feed fatty acid (C16:0 + C18:0 and C16:0 + C18:1) did not significantly affect total milk fatty acid yield. According to regression of milk C16 yield on dietary fatty acid, endogenous C16 contributes ~80% of total milk C16, but this proportion varies with the level and type of dietary fatty acid fed. Milk mid-infrared analysis can be used to routinely measure the presence of milk <C16 fatty acid, the concentration of which provides a good indicator of inhibition of milk fatty acid secretion. In contrast, measurement of total milk fat content is less effective as a diagnostic tool due to the masking effect of the exogenous supply of C16 and C18 dietary fatty acids.

Additional keywords: de novo, linoleic, linolenic, oleic, palmitic.


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