A meta-analysis was conducted using the results of 82 experiments (78 publications, 266 treatments) to investigate the importance of dietary C18 fatty acids (FA) and feeding regimen for milk C18 FA profile and apparent recovery of selected FA relative to intake of these FA or their precursors. Feeding treatments based on lipid-supplemented diets were excluded. Feeding regimens were defined as grazing [including partial and full-time grazing, at dietary concentrate proportions from 0 to 44% dry matter (DM)], forage-based indoor feeding [>65% forage of total DM intake (DMI)], and concentrate-based indoor feeding (forage DMI ≤65% of DMI). Linoleic acid (LLA), α-linolenic acid (ALA), and total C18 FA proportions in milk fat increased linearly with the respective dietary FA content in all feeding regimens tested. This effect was highest in the foragebased indoor feeding. Slopes were lowest for the grazing regimens, especially regarding ALA and the sum of all C18 FA, whereas the intercepts of the prediction equations of milk ALA and total C18 FA proportions were highest for grazing regimens. This indicates that, in grazing cows, factors other than dietary FA contents determine the C18 FA composition of the milk fat. At equal dietary LLA contents, the type of feeding regimen showed no significant effect on LLA proportion in milk fat. Milk fat proportions of rumenic acid and vaccenic acid were positively related to the sum of dietary ALA and LLA contents. Grazing regimens led to the strongest enrichment of rumenic acid and vaccenic acid in milk fat. The apparent recovery of ALA, LLA, and total C18 FA (secreted, % of intake), an estimate for transfer efficiency, decreased with increasing dietary content. This relationship followed a nonlinear decay function. When the dietary content of these FA exceeded a certain threshold (about 0.2, 0.8, and 2.8% of DM for ALA, LLA, and total C18 FA, respectively) the recovery in milk remained constant at about 5, 10, and 82% of the ingested ALA, LLA, and total C18 FA, respectively. At dietary proportions below 0.01% ALA and 1.5% total C18 FA of DM, their apparent recovery in milk fat exceeded 100%. In conclusion, a general inverse relationship between dietary C18 FA and the corresponding apparent recovery in milk fat seems to exist. Within this frame, the effect of different types of feeding regimens on the eventual milk C18 FA profile varies. Among them, grazing pasture appears to provide the most variable properties.
Khiaosa-ard, R., Kreuzer, M., Leiber, F., Apparent recovery of C18 polyunsaturated fatty acids from feed in cow milk: A meta-analysis of the importance of dietary fatty acids and feeding regimens in diets without fat supplementation, Journal of Dairy Science, Volume: 98 Issue: 9 Pages: 6399-6414 Published: SEP 2015.