Effects of Acute Changes in the Energy and Protein Intake Levels over the Short-term on the Maternal Milk Amino Acid Concentrations in Lactating Mares

  • Matsui, A. (Equine Science Division, Hidaka Training and Research Center, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Inoue, Y. (Equine Science Division, Hidaka Training and Research Center, Japan Racing Association) ;
  • Asai, Y. (Equine Science Division, Hidaka Training and Research Center, Japan Racing Association)
  • Received : 2004.05.19
  • Accepted : 2004.12.21
  • Published : 2005.06.01


This study was designed to test the effects of changes in energy and protein intake levels on the maternal milk amino acid concentrations over the short-term in lactating mares. Three lactating mares were enrolled for the study 7 weeks after parturition. A low-energy and low-protein diet (LEP) was administered during the first week of the study, followed by administration of a high-energy and high-protein diet (HEP), again for a week (day 1 to day 7), and milk was sampled thrice daily at intervals of 8 h during the study period. The mean amino acid concentrations in the maternal milk, except for those of proline, serine and valine, were significantly higher in the HEP feeding period than during the LEP feeding period (p<0.05). The sum of the concentrations of all the amino acids (TAA) in the maternal milk samples during the HEP and LEP feeding periods was 1,644.9${\pm}$26.9 and 1,542.3${\pm}$36.0 mg/100 g, respectively, the difference between the two was not significant. When the ratio of each amino acid concentration to the TAA in the maternal milk was analyzed, there were significant differences between the HEP and LEP feeding periods for all amino acids, except glycine, serine, alanine and histidine. It was found that the concentrations of glutamic acid+glutamine, serine, threonine, arginine and valine were significantly higher (p<0.05) on day 1 than on day 7 during the LEP feeding period, and there were no such differences during the HEP feeding period. In regard to the effects of changes in the energy and protein intake levels in lactating mares, no changes in milk amino acid concentrations were found following administration of HEP for a week, whereas 7 days of administration of LEP was associated with a decrease in the amino acid concentrations.


Amino Acids;Milk;Lactating;Mare


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