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Starch digestion in ruminents - problems, solutions and opportunities

Rowe, J.B. and Pethick, D.W. (1994) Starch digestion in ruminents - problems, solutions and opportunities. In: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society of Australia, V18, Twentieth Annual Scientific Meeting, 26 - 28 September, Newcastle, NSW, Australia pp. 40-52.

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There have been significant advances in our understanding of starch fermentation and digestion in ruminants. The major problem in feeding starch to ruminants is the rapid fermentation of starch and the accumulation of acids in the gut which reduce the pH to the point where health and productivity are affected. Recent research has identified problems of hindgut acidosis which can be more common and as harmful as the better known problems of lactic acidosis in the rumen. The use of the antibiotic feed additive, virginiamycin, has been shown to reduce the risks of starch feeding to the extent where feeding cereal grain is safe and practical. These new feeding systems have the potential to deliver undigested starch post-ruminally for absorption as glucose. For this reason it has been appropriate to evaluate the effect of glucose on pathways of physiological and commercial importance such as glycogen and lipid synthesis. It is clear that intravenous infusions of glucose stimulate key enzymes involved in lipid synthesis including the citrate cleavage pathway which converts glucose to lipid and importantly acetlyCoA carboxylase, the rate limiting step for lipogenesis.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary Studies
Publisher: Nutrition Society of Australia
Copyright: © The Nutrition Society of Australia
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