A Review of the Effects of Feeding Niacin to Early Lactating Dairy Cows
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KeywordsAdipose Tissue Niacin Feed Intake Milk Yield Volatile Fatty Acid
The use of niacin for Danish dairy cows has recently received increased interest in the dairy industry. This interest is based on an expectation that niacin will increase milk yield and/or prevent ketosis. In ruminants, niacin (vitamin B3) is synthesised by the microflora in the rumen. It has been questioned whether the synthesis of niacin in the rumen is adequate in order to secure an optimal production and health in dairy cows in early lactation. The objective of this report wasis to review the effects of niacin on the fermentation pattern in the rumen, blood and liver parameters, feed intake and performance to determine if niacin is able to improve the negative energy balance and prevent ketosis in early lactating dairy cows.
Results and discussion
Supplementary niacin does not reduce the mobilisation of adipose tissue or the content of lipid in the liver. It is therefore unlikely that niacin can prevent fatty liver and ketosis. Furthermore, niacin does not affect feed intake, milk yield or milk composition in early lactating dairy cows.
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