Glucose and insulin responses to an intravenous glucose tolerance test administered to feed-restricted dairy cows receiving folic acid and vitamin B<inf>12</inf> supplements

Citation

Girard, C.L., Vanacker, N., Beaudet, V., Duplessis, M., Lacasse, P. (2019). Glucose and insulin responses to an intravenous glucose tolerance test administered to feed-restricted dairy cows receiving folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements, 102(7), 6226-6234. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-16298

Plain language summary

During periods of negative energy balance, such as in early lactation, a combined supplement of folic acid and vitamin B12 has been reported to change energy partitioning. During a glucose tolerance test administered to fed-restricted lactating cows, the vitamin supplement decreased insulin release without affecting glucose clearance rate suggesting that the vitamin supplement improved insulin sensitivity in fed-restricted lactating dairy cows which could explain changes in energy partitioning between insulin-sensitive and insulin-insensitive tissues.

Abstract

© 2019 American Dairy Science Association The present experiment was conducted to determine whether, during periods of negative energy balance, the increase in glucose availability, despite similar DMI and greater milk production, induced by a combined supplement of folic acid and vitamin B12 was related to effects of insulin on metabolism. Sixteen multiparous Holstein cows averaging 45 days in milk (standard deviation: 3) were assigned to 8 blocks of 2 animals each according to their milk production (45 kg/d; standard deviation: 6) during the week preceding the beginning of the experiment. Within each block, they received weekly intramuscular injections of either saline (CON) or folic acid and vitamin B12 (VIT) during 5 consecutive weeks. During the last week, the cows were fed 75% of their ad libitum intake during 4 d. Blood samples were taken the morning before starting the feed restriction and on the third day of feed restriction. On the fourth day of feed restriction, the daily meal was not served and an intravenous glucose tolerance test was performed. During the 4 wk preceding the feed restriction, milk production and DMI were not affected by treatments. During the feed restriction, the vitamin supplement tended to decrease milk fat concentration and increase milk concentration of lactose. Plasma concentrations of homocysteine, Ile, Leu, Val, and branched-chain AA increased in VIT cows during the restriction but not in CON cows. During the glucose tolerance test, insulin peak height was lower and insulin incremental positive area under the curve tended to be lower for VIT than for CON [83 (95% confidence interval, CI: 64–108) vs. 123 (95% CI: 84–180) µg·180 min/L, respectively]. Free fatty acid nadir was reached earlier for VIT than for CON [34 (95% CI: 26–43) vs. 46 (95% CI: 31–57) min, respectively]. Glucose area under the curve, clearance rate and peak height, insulin time to reach the peak and clearance rate, and free fatty acid nadir did not differ between VIT and CON. The reduction in insulin release during a glucose tolerance test without changes in glucose clearance rate or area under the curve suggests that the vitamin supplement improved insulin sensitivity in feed-restricted lactating dairy cows.