The nutritional component of a Heat Abatement strategy
Executive Summary –
A common result of summer heat stress is a reduction in productivity and reproduction of dairy cows. Heat production in the modern cow has increased as a result of increased productivity. The benefits of cooling cows with mechanical cooling and modifications to facilities have been well demonstrated. Recent research has shown that niacin, in the form of Rumen Protected NiaShure™, can be beneficial by helping cows cope with heat stress in a number of ways. NiaShure Rumen Protected Niacin has demonstrated that it can be utilized as a component of a heat abatement strategy during summer.
Rumen Protection Is the Key
The challenge with feeding niacin to ruminants is that it is estimated that 95% of raw niacin fed will be broken down in the rumen. NiaShure is an encapsulated form of niacin that is 85% effective in protecting the niacin from the rumen environment and delivering it to the intestinal tract. Because of the rumen stability of NiaShure, it is also the most cost-effective source of niacin when it is used in diets for purposes other than managing heat stress. Research at the University of Arizona has demonstrated that the bioavailability of niacin provided by NiaShure increases blood and milk niacin levels.
Mode of Action
Niacin fed as NiaShure reaches the intestine where it is absorbed by the cow. Research at the University of Arizona has identified three ways in which niacin delivered to the intestine can aid the animal during times of heat stress
Increase in peripheral circulation – Niacin causes a flushing effect, or vasodilation, which increases blood flow to the skin. This appears to occur in cows fed NiaShure. The increase in blood flow to the skin helps to dissipate heat generated by the cow by moving blood from the core of the body to the body surface.
Increased sweating – Although cows are not known as animals that produce large volumes of sweat, it is one mechanism they use for cooling. This provides for evaporative cooling that removes heat from the cow.
Stabilizing cellular protein structure – When cows are heat stressed, they produce a Heat Shock
Proteins (HSP). The function of the HSPs is to protect cells from damage and refold cellular proteins. This process is mediated through prostaglandins. Researchers at the University of Arizona have found that when niacin is added to the system, HSPs is produced in greater quantities then without niacin. The Benefits of Feeding NiaShure During Summer Heat Stress Multiple studies including one done at the University of Arizona have shown that feeding Niashure during heat stress can achieve increases in production (3 lbs of Energy Corrected Milk) and components (Milk Protein) as well as lower body temperature.
Niacin can stimulate several responses in the dairy cow that will help it deal with heat stress but the key to achieving these benefits is to have a rumen protected form that will reach the intestine. Feeding of NiaShure during the summer has been shown to increase energy corrected milk, increase milk protein and benefit cows by lowering body temperature.
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