Effects of dietary supplementation of rumen-protected folic acid on rumen fermentation, degradability and excretion of urinary purine derivatives in growing steers Journal Articles uri icon

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  • The present experiment was undertaken to determine the effects of dietary addition of rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) on ruminal fermentation, nutrient degradability, enzyme activity and the relative quantity of ruminal cellulolytic bacteria in growing beef steers. Eight rumen-cannulated Jinnan beef steers averaging 2.5 years of age and 419 ± 1.9 kg body weight were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design. The four treatments comprised supplementation levels of 0 (Control), 70, 140 and 210 mg RPFA/kg dietary dry matter (DM). On DM basis, the ration consisted of 50% corn silage, 47% concentrate and 3% soybean oil. The DM intake (averaged 8.5 kg/d) was restricted to 95% of ad libitum intake. The intake of DM, crude protein (CP) and net energy for growth was not affected by treatments. In contrast, increasing RPFA supplementation increased average daily gain and the concentration of total volatile fatty acid and reduced ruminal pH linearly. Furthermore, increasing RPFA supplementation enhanced the acetate to propionate ratio and reduced the ruminal ammonia N content linearly. The ruminal effective degradability of neutral detergent fibre from corn silage and CP from concentrate improved linearly and was highest for the highest supplementation levels. The activities of cellobiase, xylanase, pectinase and α-amylase linearly increased, but carboxymethyl-cellulase and protease were not affected by the addition of RPFA. The relative quantities of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Ruminococcus albus, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Fibrobacter succinogenes increased linearly. With increasing RPFA supplementation levels, the excretion of urinary purine derivatives was also increased linearly. The present results indicated that the supplementation of RPFA improved ruminal fermentation, nutrient degradability, activities of microbial enzymes and the relative quantity of the ruminal cellulolytic bacteria in a dose-dependent manner. According to the conditions of this experiment, the optimum supplementation level of RPFA was 140 mg/kg DM.


  • Wang, Cong
  • Liu, Qiang
  • Guo, Gang
  • Huo, WenJie
  • Ma, Le
  • Zhang, YanLi
  • Pei, CaiXia
  • Zhang, ShuanLin
  • Wang, Hao

publication date

  • November 2016