Publications (3)5.1 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: Fermentable fibers such as psyllium increase volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations in the lower digestive tract and increase the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) mass of many mammals. We reasoned that psyllium inclusion in milk replacer might produce similar effects in neonatal dairy calves, which could lead to improved growth and health. Male Holstein calves were fed a milk replacer (22% crude protein, 20% fat) either without or with psyllium (1.1% of dry matter, DM) from 2 d through 28 d of age. Milk replacer was reconstituted to 12.5% DM and fed at 12% of calf body weight, adjusted weekly. Water was offered ad libitum but no starter was fed. Three calves per treatment were harvested weekly to sample digesta from the reticulo-rumen, abomasum, jejunum, proximal colon, and distal colon, and to determine length and mass of GIT components. Psyllium in milk replacer increased the proportion of butyrate in reticulo-rumen contents from 2.4 to 3.2% of total but did not affect total VFA concentrations. Total VFA concentrations were very low in the jejunum but psyllium tended to increase total VFA, acetate, and valerate concentrations; valerate accounted for 15.9 and 16.7% of total VFA (molar basis) for control and psyllium calves, respectively. Psyllium increased total VFA concentrations in the proximal and distal colon by 104.4 and 45.6%, respectively, but had little effect on the profile of VFA. Psyllium in milk replacer increased populations of bifidobacteria (from 9.7 to 10.3 log(10) cfu/g of DM) and lactobacilli (from 8.2 to 9.4 log(10) cfu/g of DM) in the reticulo-rumen, but did not affect populations in jejunum or colon. Calves fed psyllium had 12.0% greater total GIT mass and 9.4% greater GIT as a percentage of body weight. Psyllium tended to increase mass of the reticulo-rumen and significantly increased mass of duodenum (34.2%), jejunum (14.5%), and colon (14.6%). Density of intestinal tissues from calves fed psyllium-supplemented milk replacer was 25.9% greater in the jejunum and 25.3% greater in the ileum, and tended to be greater in duodenum and colon than tissue from control calves. Supplementation of psyllium to milk replacer increased fermentation in the colon, mass of the total GIT, and populations of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the reticulo-rumen.Journal of Dairy Science 10/2010; 93(10):4744-58. DOI:10.3168/jds.2010-3077 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Based on research in other species, inclusion of psyllium in milk replacer might improve nutrient utilization and gastrointestinal function in neonatal calves. Male Holstein calves were fed a milk replacer (22% crude protein, 20% fat) either without or with psyllium (1.1% of dry matter) from 2 d through 28 d of age. Milk replacer was reconstituted to 12.5% dry matter (DM) and fed at 12% of calf body weight (BW), adjusted weekly. Water was offered ad libitum but no starter was fed. Three calves per treatment were harvested weekly to sample digesta from the rumen, abomasum, jejunum, proximal colon, and distal colon. Mean daily intakes of water, DM, crude protein, and metabolizable energy did not differ between treatments. Average daily gain of BW did not differ between treatments. Digesta from the abomasum and colon of calves fed psyllium was more viscous than digesta from control calves. Mean retention time of digesta in the total digestive tract tended to be greater for calves supplemented with psyllium (9.7 vs. 8.4h). Feces and digesta from the proximal and distal colon of calves fed psyllium had lower DM content than feces and digesta from control calves. Total-tract apparent digestibility of DM (92.8 vs. 94.1%) was lower for psyllium-fed calves, likely as an effect of the addition of the more poorly digestible psyllium; digestibilities of energy and ash also tended to be lower. The prefeeding plasma glucose concentration (10h after previous feeding) tended to be greater for psyllium-fed calves but concentrations of nonesterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyrate, cholesterol, urea N, and total protein did not differ between treatments. Blood components did not differ between treatments at 2h postfeeding. Inclusion of psyllium in the milk replacer of neonatal calves increased digesta viscosity and slowed passage of digesta through the gastrointestinal tract.Journal of Dairy Science 08/2010; 93(8):3652-60. DOI:10.3168/jds.2009-2731 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Psyllium has been shown to exert beneficial effects on intestinal health and function in several non-ruminant species. The effects of psyllium inclusion in milk replacers for neonatal dairy calves have been minimally researched. The purpose of my research was to determine the impact of psyllium inclusion in milk replacer on feed intake, water intake, growth, illness, digesta viscosity, rate of passage, nutrient digestibilities, blood components, VFA concentrations and microbial populations throughout the gastrointestinal tract, size and scale of gastrointestinal tissues, ion transport measures, and histomorphological development in the gastrointestinal tract in neonatal dairy calves. Male Holstein calves, less than 36 h of age, were purchased for this trial. Calves were blocked by pairs and randomly assigned within pair to one of two dietary treatments. Treatments consisted of milk replacers (reconstituted to 12.5% DM and fed at a rate of 12% of BW) formulated to contain 22% protein and 20% fat either with (PSY) or without (CON) a 1.1% inclusion of psyllium. Pairs of calves were harvested at wk 1, 2, 3, and 4 for analysis. Feed intake (DM, protein, and metabolizable energy), water intake, growth, and illness did not differ between treatments. Digesta viscosity was increased in the abomasal and colon digesta for the PSY treatment. In addition, DM content of digesta from the proximal colon, distal colon, and feces was decreased for the PSY treatment. Apparent digestibility of DM was greater for the CON treatment. The predominant effect of psyllium inclusion in the milk replacer on VFA concentrations was in the lower gastrointestinal tract as indicated by the higher total VFA concentrations in the jejunum, proximal colon, and distal colon. Greater lower gut fermentation is logical because psyllium is a fiber that can be fermented by intestinal bacteria. Effects of inclusion of psyllium on bacterial counts were minimal. Size and scale of the gastrointestinal tract were impacted by psyllium predominantly in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Calves fed PSY had heavier duodenums, more duodenal tissue per kilogram BW, increased duodenal wet weight, increased jejunal mass per unit of BW, denser jejunal tissue, and greater jejunal tissue density per unit of BW. Length of the jejunum per unit of calf BW was increased for the CON calves. In the ileum, the PSY calves had denser tissue. Colon wet weight, as well as dense colon tissue per unit of calf BW was increased for the PSY calves. The increase in size and scale of the gastrointestinal tract could be of benefit to the neonatal dairy calf from a standpoint of potentially greater absorptive capacities of the tissue and greater tissue resistance to disease intrusion into the bloodstream. The inclusion of a fermentable fiber could also potentially “set-up” the gastrointestinal tract to allow more rapid growth once calf starter ingestion begins. In isolated segments of gastrointestinal tissues, inclusion of psyllium in the diet significantly affected the change in short circuit current induced by addition of 10 mM glucose. Glucose transport was greater in rumen, ileum, and colon from CON calves compared with calves fed PSY . These data could potentially indicate that psyllium inclusion slowed the rate of glucose absorption in the rumen, ileum, and colon. Psyllium inclusion in milk replacer resulted in physiological changes consistent with improved performance and health. The effects of psyllium inclusion on growth and health should be determined in large numbers of calves under field conditions.