CholiPEARL™ is a rumen-protected form of choline, manufactured using a proprietary spray-freezing technology by Kemin. The spray-freezing offers optimum protection in the rumen while ensuring maximum release and better absorption in the small intestine. CholiPEARL™ is, therefore, an effective source of choline for ruminant animals.
Choline is an essential nutrient that contributes to optimal animal health and performance. One of its primary roles is the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, an essential component of cell membranes. In the liver, phosphatidylcholine is also required to produce molecules known as very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). VLDL are important molecules through which fat is removed from the liver.
Figure 1. Illustration of healthy (A) and fatty (B) liver
Accumulation of fat in the liver is not healthy for the dairy cow because it will reduce the capacity of the liver to adequately metabolize protein (ammonia detoxification), carbohydrate (gluconeogenesis), and fat.
Choline is also a source of labile methyl groups, which are important in transmethylation reactions in the tissues. Some of these reactions are involved in energy and protein metabolism. Therefore, choline plays an important role in energy metabolism in dairy cows.
Choline Supplementation in Dairy Cows
Choline is required for normal tissue lactating dairy cows, therefore, an inadequate dietary level may limit milk production and affect the health of dairy cows. Supplementing cows with choline (in rumen-protected form) has been associated with improved health and production performance. This is particularly important in transition dairy cows when energy supply is often limiting, and cows are under stress due to the negative energy balance. Under this condition, body fats are mobilized as non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) to supply enough energy to the body.
The NEFA need to be metabolized directly into energy and/or transformed into VLDL in the liver. The VLDL will then further be used as energy source by the different body tissues or secreted into milk to improve milk fat content. Adequate supplementation of choline can help to maintain healthy liver (Figure 1A) by ensuring that circulating NEFA is adequately metabolized into energy and/or VLDL, which prevents the accumulation of fat in the liver (Figure 1B), which can compromise liver function. The inability of the liver to function properly could lead to ketosis and other metabolic disorders, low fertility, low production and lost income.
Choline in its natural form in feeds is readily degraded by rumen microbes. Therefore, supplementing dairy cows with unprotected choline will not be effective. In vitro studies have shown that choline that is naturally occurring in feeds or as unprotected choline sources (Chloride chloride) are readily degraded by rumen microbes (Figure 2). When choline was supplemented in the abomasum (post-ruminally), milk production improved compared to when it was supplemented through the rumen (Table 1).
Table 1. The effects of choline chloride (CC) supplements on dairy cows (Sharma and Erdman, 1989b)
Figure 2. In vitro degradability of different sources of choline (Sharma and Erdman, 1989a)
Non-protected choline is degraded in the rumen up to 98% (Sharma and Erdman, 1989b.). This approach only adds cost to the supplement due to the high rumen-degradation rate of unprotected choline.
Most of the rumen-protected choline sources use a fat coating protection. The key differentiation point among the products is the technology used in the process. The most common technique is spray cooling. This technology relies on ambient temperatures to cool down the fat during the spraying process. This adds a lot of variability to the final product, and inconsistent results can be expected.
CholiPEARL™ uses the spray freezing technology with unique handling and releasing characteristics. This process ensures product consistency, optimum rumen protection and maximum release in the small intestine, ensuring high bioavailability.
CholiPEARL™ is a highly bioavailable and cost-effective source of choline for your cows. To shield your cows against ketosis, fatty liver disease, and other related metabolic disorders, consider CholiPEARL™ supplementation during the transition period.
Sharma, B.K. and Erdman, R.A. 1989a. In Vitro Degradation of Choline from Selected Feedstuffs and Choline Supplements. J. Dairy Sci., 72: 2772-2776.
Sharma, B.K. and Erdman, R.A. 1989b. Effects of dietary and abomasally infused choline on milk production responses of lactating dairy cows. J. Nutr., 119: 248-254.