No Gut, No Glory – Rumen Protected Lysine
Many nutrient supplements and medications critical to animal health are sensitive to the acidic environments of the early digestive tract. Protein, for example, is one of the major limiting nutrients in the diets of lactating dairy cows, but feeding them a more protein-rich diet isn’t a satisfactory solution either; after all, the breakdown of protein in the rumen is one of the most inefficient processes in ruminant nutrition.
Research has shown that only 25%-35% of feed protein is absorbed in the small intestine by lactating dairy cows.
Often, in order to reach the intestine or colon, nutrients must be modified to withstand the acidity, substantially reducing their nutritive health benefits. Take Lysine Hydrochloride, for example. This amino acid has been shown to influence milk production in lactating dairy cows, but it also poses hygroscopic and handling issues. The challenge is stabilizing Lysine Hydrochloride for effective rumen bypass so it can release in the small intestine and positively affect milk production.
Putting Rumen-Protected Lysine to the Test
The University of Georgia Tipton Research Center recently ran a study with three rumen-cannulated cows. Each cow was infused with four bags each of lysine-rich soybean meal samples, including a 40% active (60% encapsulant), 50% active, 60% active and 70% active. The Lysine Hydrochloride itself was obtained from two different feed manufacturers, labelled A and B in the table below.
As you can see, there is a linear relationship between the coating percentage and the percentage of rumen escape lysine. The 40% and 50% active Lysine showed more rumen bypass than the 60% and 70%. At this level, the source of Lysine had an effect on ruminal escape, with Lysine from source A performing better than source B. However, at the 70% and 60% active levels, source B outperformed source A.
On a cost-in-use basis, it would be more beneficial to use either the 50% rumen stable Lysine from source A and the 60% from source B, since both deliver the highest percentage of usable Lysine to the lower gut. Either way, the study shows that microencapsulation works to deliver nutrients throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
“pH-Proofing” Ingredients for Maximum Impact
Maxx Performance’s microencapsulation technology allows for the targeted release of nutrients to individual segments of the digestive tract without the need for chelation or “acid-proofing” modifications. Nutrients like minerals, which once posed interaction and chelating challenges as they moved through the GI tract, can now be protected and delivered intact at precise sites.
What’s more, formulators no longer have to worry about complexes like Copper and Molybdenum, the deleterious impact of phosphorous compounds on Zinc, or the premature disintegration of bases to overcome acidosis in horses. Coating active ingredients with a protective shell provides thorough resistance to mechanical damage by teeth or gizzard, improves rumen stability and the bioavailability of active ingredients per gram, and increases dose efficiency overall.
Delivering New Levels of Rumen-Stable Bypass Efficiency
During digestion, feed undergoes changes in pH depending on its location in the gastrointestinal tract. With the advanced technology from Maxx Performance, matrices of organic acids, lipids and essential oils, as well as amino acids and minerals, can be targeted to release at different levels of acidity, and for specific durations. Even the microencapsulation matrix itself can be formulated for optimal uptake and nutritional benefits.
Which means now, specific nutrients can be precisely targeted to locations throughout the GI tract with a level of precision and efficiency that was never before possible.