The Effects of Feeding Fish Oil on Uterine Secretion of PGF2a, Milk Composition, and Metabolic Status of Periparturient Holstein Cows

Source: R. Mattos, C. R. Staples, A. Arteche, M. C. Wiltbank, F. J. Diaz, T. C. Jenkins, and W. W. Thatcher
The objectives were to determine the effect of dietary fish oil (FO) on uterine secretion of PGF2α, milk production, milk composition, and metabolic status during the periparturient period. Holstein cows were assigned randomly to diets containing FO (n = 13) or olive oil (OO, n = 13). Cows were fed prepartum and postpartum diets that provided approximately 200 g/d from 21 d before the expected parturition until 21 d after parturition. The FO used contained 36% eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, n-3) and 28% docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3). Blood samples were obtained from 14 d before the due date until d 21 postpartum. A total of 6 FO and 8 OO cows without periparturient disorders were used in the statistical analyses of PGF2α-metabolite (PGFM) and metabolite concentrations. Length of prepartum feeding with OO or FO did not differ. Proportions of individual and total n-3 fatty acids were increased in caruncular tissue and milk of cows fed FO. The combined concentrations of EPA and DHA in caruncular tissue were correlated positively with the number of days supplemented with FO. Cows fed FO had reduced concentrations of plasma PGFM during the 60 h immediately after parturition compared with cows fed OO. Concentrations of prostaglandin H synthase-2 mRNA and protein in caruncular tissue were unaffected by diet. Production of milk and FCM were similar between cows fed the two oil diets. However, cows fed FO produced less milk fat. Feeding FO reduced plasma concentrations of glucose. Dietary fatty acids given during the periparturient period can reduce the uterine secretion of PGF2α in lactating dairy cows and alter the fatty acid profile of milk fat.