SUMMARY
  • High levels of saturated fats in human diets are considered unhealthy.
  • Increasing the amount of unsaturated fats, especially omega-3 and CLA fats, has been shown to improve health outcomes in humans.
  • Optomega Plus, included in dairy cow rations, can increase the proportion of omega-3 and CLA fats in milk.

BACKGROUND
  • Dairy products have been widely critiscised for being a source of “unhealthy” saturated fats in human diets, leading to increases in health problems, such as cardiovascular disease.
  • Healthy fats, such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fats such as linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosaheptaenoic acid (DHA) have been shown to improve health outcomes in humans.
  • Optomega Plus is a source of EPA & DHA. Feeding Optomega Plus to dairy cows may help to increase the levels of these good fats in milk and thus the human diet.

 

TRIAL DESIGN

Anpario conducted a trial with the university of California Davis to assess the efficacy of Optomega Plus, a source of EPA & DHA, on dairy cow fertility and milk production on a commercial dairy herd in California. 400 multiparous lactating dairy cows were assigned to one of two treatments: the basal TMR (Control) and the same diet including 0.5% Optomega Plus on a dry matter basis. Milk yields and quality were measured monthly over 5 months with milk fatty acids measured in months 2 and 4. The trial lasted until 150 days in milk. Dry matter intake was unaffected by treatment at 30kg/day and milk yields were >50kg/cow/day.

Table 1. The effect of Optomega Plus on Key Components of the Milk Fatty Acid Profile

*HPI – Health-Promoting Index adapted from Chen et al., 2004

 

RESULTS
  • Including Optomega Plus in dairy rations increased the beneficial fatty acids in the milk.
  • Optomega Plus also reduced the n6:n3 and the saturated:unsaturated fats ratios.
  • Overall, the “Health-Promoting Index” of the milk was improved.