Supplemental smartamine m or metasmart during the transition period benefits postpartal cow performance and blood neutrophil function

J. S. Osorio, P. Ji, J. K. Drackley, D. Luchini, J. J. Loor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The onset of lactation in dairy cows is characterized by severe negative energy and protein balance. Methionine availability during this time for milk production, hepatic lipid metabolism, and immune function may be limiting. Supplementing Met to peripartal diets with adequate Lys in metabolizable protein (MP) to fine-tune the Lys:Met ratio may be beneficial. Fifty-six multiparous Holstein cows were fed the same basal diet from 50 d before expected calving to 30 d in milk. From -50 to -21 d before expected calving, all cows received the same diet [1.24 Mcal/kg of dry matter (DM), 10.3% rumen-degradable protein, and 4% rumen-undegradable protein] with no Met supplementation. From -21 d to expected calving, the cows received diets (1.54 Mcal/kg of DM, 10% rumen-degradable protein, and 5.1% rumen-undegradable protein) with no added Met (control, CON; n = 14), CON plus MetaSmart (MS; Adisseo Inc., Antony, France; n = 12), or CON plus Smartamine M (SM; Adisseo Inc.; n = 12). From calving through 30 d in milk, the cows received the same postpartum diet (1.75 Mcal/kg of DM and 17.5% CP; CON), or the CON plus MS or CON plus SM. The Met supplements were adjusted daily and top-dressed over the total mixed ration at a rate of 0.19 or 0.07% (DM) of feed for MS or SM. Liver tissue was collected on -10, 7, and 21 d, and blood samples more frequently, from -21 through 21 d. Data were analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NC) with the preplanned contrasts CON versus SM + MS and SM versus MS. No differences in prepartal DM intake (DMI) or body condition score were observed. After calving, body condition score was lower (2.6 vs. 2.8), whereas DMI was greater (15.4 vs. 13.3. kg/d) for Met-supplemented cows. Postpartal diet × time interactions were observed for milk fat percentage, milk fat yield, energy-corrected milk:DMI ratio, and energy balance. These were mainly due to changes among time points across all treatments. Cows supplemented with either Met source increased milk yield, milk protein percentage, energy-corrected milk, and milk fat yield by 3.4. kg/d, 0.18% units, 3.9. kg/d, and 0.18. kg/d, respectively. Those responses were associated with greater postpartum concentration of growth hormone but not insulin-like growth factor 1. There was a diet × time effect for nonesterified fatty acid concentration due to greater values on d 7 for MS; however, liver concentration of triacylglycerol was not affected by diet or diet × time but increased postpartum. Blood neutrophil phagocytosis at 21 d was greater with Met supplementation, suggesting better immune function. Supplemental MS or SM resulted in a tendency for lower incidence of ketosis postpartum. Although supplemental MS or SM did not decrease liver triacylglycerol, it improved milk production-related traits by enhancing voluntary DMI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6248-6263
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013


  • Inflammation
  • Methionine
  • Transition cow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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