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Effects of feeding dairy cows different legume-grass silages on milk phytoestrogen concentration

Höjer, Annika; Adler, Steffen; Purup, Stig; Hansen-Møller, Jens; Martinsson, Kjell; Steinshamn, Håvard and Gustavsson, Anne-Maj (2012) Effects of feeding dairy cows different legume-grass silages on milk phytoestrogen concentration. Journal of Dairy Science, 95 (8), pp. 4526-4540.

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Phytoestrogens are hormone-like substances in plants that can substantially influence human health (positively or negatively), and when fed to dairy cows are partly transferred to their milk. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of varying the botanical composition and regrowth interval of legume-grass silage on phytoestrogen intake and milk phytoestrogen concentrations. In one experiment, 15 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed two- or three-cut red clover-grass silage, or two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage. In a second experiment, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover or long-term ley silage with white clover, and the effects of supplementation with α-tocopherol were also tested. There were high concentrations of formononetin and biochanin A in all silage mixtures with red clover. The milk concentration of equol was highest on the two-cut red clover-grass silage diet (1,494 μg/kg milk). Due to metabolism of biochanin A, genistein and prunetin, their concentrations in milk and the apparent recovery were low. Coumestrol was only detected in short-term and long-term ley silage mixtures, and its milk concentration was low. Concentrations of secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol were higher in two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass and long-term ley silage mixtures, those with legume species other than red clover and the highest grass proportions. Two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage diet also resulted in higher enterolactone concentration than the other diets (226 μg/kg milk). Lengthening the regrowth interval increased the intake of secoisolariciresinol and decreased recovery of lignans. Feeding long-term ley silage resulted in higher lignan milk concentrations, but lower isoflavone milk concentrations than feeding short-term ley silage. The apparent recovery of all phytoestrogens except prunetin was highest on two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage diet. There was no effect of α-tocopherol supplementation on milk concentrations of any of the measured phytoestrogens. There were variations in milk concentrations of phytoestrogens, especially of equol, among cows, which could not be explained by variations in diet composition or phytoestrogen intake. The results show that milk phytoestrogen concentration is strongly influenced by silage botanical composition, but questions regarding phytoestrogen metabolism remain to be answered.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems > Dairy cattle
"Organics" in general
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Pasture and forage crops
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic > PHYTOMILK
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Norway > NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Norway > Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research > Bioforsk Organic Food and Farming Division
Sweden > Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) > Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden
Deposited By: Höjer, Miss Annika
ID Code:21680
Deposited On:29 Oct 2012 13:38
Last Modified:29 Oct 2012 13:38
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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