Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Effects of a dietary L-carnitine supplementation on performance, energy metabolism and recovery from calving in dairy cows

Dairy cows are metabolically challenged during the transition period. Furthermore, the process of parturition represents an energy-consuming process. The degree of negative energy balance and recovery from calving also depends on the efficiency of mitochondrial energy generation. At this point, L-carnitine plays an important role for the transfer of fatty acids to the site of their mitochondrial utilisation. A control (n = 30) and an L-carnitine group (n = 29, 25 g rumen-protected L-carnitine per cow and day) were created and blood samples were taken from day 42 ante partum (ap) until day 110 post-partum (pp) to clarify the impact of L-carnitine supplementation on dairy cows, especially during the transition period and early puerperium. Blood and clinical parameters were recorded in high resolution from 0.5 h to 72 h pp. L-carnitine-supplemented cows had higher amounts of milk fat in early lactation and higher triacylglyceride concentrations in plasma ap, indicating increased efficiency Animals 2020, 10, 342; doi:10.3390/ani10020342 Animals 2020, 10, 342 2 of 28 of fat oxidation. However, neither recovery from calving nor energy balance and lipomobilisation were influenced by L-carnitine.


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