Effect of phytol in forage on phytanic acid content in cow's milk

  • Lv, Renlong (Tropical Crops Genetic Resources Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences) ;
  • Elsabagh, Mabrouk (Department of Animal Production and Technology, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and Technologies, Nigde University) ;
  • Obitsu, Taketo (Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, Hiroshima University) ;
  • Sugino, Toshihisa (Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, Hiroshima University) ;
  • Kurokawa, Yuzo (Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, Hiroshima University)
  • Received : 2021.02.22
  • Accepted : 2021.04.30
  • Published : 2021.10.01


Objective: Bioactive compounds in ruminant products are related to functional compounds in their diets. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the effect of forage sources, Italian ryegrass (IR) silage vs corn silage (CS) in the total mixed ration (TMR), on milk production, milk composition, and phytanic acid content in milk, as well as on the extent of conversion of dietary phytol to milk phytanic acid. Methods: Phytanic acid content in milk was investigated for cows fed a TMR containing either IR silage or CS using 17 cows over three periods of 21 days each. In periods 1 and 3, cows were fed CS-based TMR (30% CS), while in period 2, cows were fed IR silage-based TMR (20% IR silage and10% CS). Results: The results showed that there were no differences in fat, protein, lactose, solids-not-fat, somatic cell count, and fatty acid composition of milk among the three experimental periods. There were no differences in the plasma concentration of glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and nonesterified fatty acids among the three experimental periods, while the blood urea nitrogen was higher (p<0.05) in period 2. The milk phytanic acid content was higher (p<0.05) in period 2 (13.9 mg/kg) compared with periods 1 (9.30 mg/kg) and 3 (8.80 mg/kg). Also, the phytanic acid content in the feces was higher (p<0.05) in period 2 (1.65 mg/kg dry matter [DM]) compared with period 1 (1.15 mg/kg DM), and 3 (1.17 mg/kg DM). Although the phytol contents in feces did not differ among the three feeding periods, the conversion ratio from dietary phytol to milk phytanic acid was estimated to be only 2.6%. Conclusion: Phytanic acid content in cow's milk increases with increasing phytol content in diets. However, phytol might not be completely metabolized in the rumen and phytanic acid, in turn, might not be completely recovered into cow's milk. The change of phytanic acid content in milk may be positively correlated with the change of phytol in the diet within a short time.



This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Number 26292138.


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