CHOLINE CAN BE OF HELP
Because choline is so important in the synthesis of VLDL and as a methyl donor, a good choline supply is required for an optimal working of the liver and health of transition cows.
Choline is not considered as an essential nutrient in the diet of cows. However, if the metabolism is very fast, typically for high producing cows in beginning of lactation, endogenous choline production might be inadequate. In this case, supplementation of bioavailable choline can optimize the (liver) metabolism and maximize milk production. Both prevalence of (subclinical) ketosis and of fatty liver disease can be reduced with the preventive use of protected choline chloride, reducing costs caused by these metabolic diseases.
ONLY BIOAVAILABLE WHEN PROTECTED AGAINST RUMEN DEGRADATION
When choline chloride is added to the feed, the present microbiota in the rumen degrades it almost completely. This means unprotected choline will not be bioavailable for the ruminating cow and is useless to support its metabolism. To bypass the rumen, choline chloride can be protected by a layer of fatty acids. Rumen microbes are then incapable of digesting this fatty acid layer, and only in the small intestine, the digestive lipase enzymes break down the protection and release choline available for absorption and support of the animal’s metabolism.
Attention should be paid to the quality of the coating, as there is a lot of difference amongst products in protection of the choline chloride against rumen degradation and in release at intestinal level (see Figure 2).