Publications by authors named "Ermias Kebreab"

34 Publications

Livestock sustainability research in Africa with a focus on the environment.

Anim Front 2021 Jul 6;11(4):47-56. Epub 2021 Sep 6.

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/af/vfab034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8420991PMC
July 2021

Inhibited Methanogenesis in the Rumen of Cattle: Microbial Metabolism in Response to Supplemental 3-Nitrooxypropanol and Nitrate.

Front Microbiol 2021 27;12:705613. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States.

3-Nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) supplementation to cattle diets mitigates enteric CH emissions and may also be economically beneficial at farm level. However, the wider rumen metabolic response to methanogenic inhibition by 3-NOP and the intermediary metabolite requires further exploration. Furthermore, supplementation potently decreases CH emissions from cattle. The reduction of utilizes H and yields , the latter of which may also inhibit rumen methanogens, although a different mode of action than for 3-NOP and its derivative was hypothesized. Our objective was to explore potential responses of the fermentative and methanogenic metabolism in the rumen to 3-NOP, and their metabolic derivatives using a dynamic mechanistic modeling approach. An extant mechanistic rumen fermentation model with state variables for carbohydrate substrates, bacteria and protozoa, gaseous and dissolved fermentation end products and methanogens was extended with a state variable of either 3-NOP or . Both new models were further extended with a state variable, with exerting methanogenic inhibition, although the modes of action of 3-NOP-derived and -derived are different. Feed composition and intake rate (twice daily feeding regime), and supplement inclusion were used as model inputs. Model parameters were estimated to experimental data collected from the literature. The extended 3-NOP and models both predicted a marked peak in H emission shortly after feeding, the magnitude of which increased with higher doses of supplement inclusion. The H emission rate appeared positively related to decreased acetate proportions and increased propionate and butyrate proportions. A decreased CH emission rate was associated with 3-NOP and supplementation. Omission of the state variable from the 3-NOP model did not change the overall dynamics of H and CH emission and other metabolites. However, omitting the state variable from the model did substantially change the dynamics of H and CH emissions indicated by a decrease in both H and CH emission after feeding. Simulations do not point to a strong relationship between methanogenic inhibition and the rate of and formation upon 3-NOP supplementation, whereas the metabolic response to supplementation may largely depend on methanogenic inhibition by .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2021.705613DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8353594PMC
July 2021

The Ruminant Farm Systems Animal Module: A Biophysical Description of Animal Management.

Animals (Basel) 2021 May 12;11(5). Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Animal Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.

Dairy production is an important source of nutrients in the global food supply, but environmental impacts are increasingly a concern of consumers, scientists, and policy-makers. Many decisions must be integrated to support sustainable production-which can be achieved using a simulation model. We provide an example of the Ruminant Farm Systems (RuFaS) model to assess changes in the dairy system related to altered animal feed efficiency. RuFaS is a whole-system farm simulation model that simulates the individual animal life cycle, production, and environmental impacts. We added a stochastic animal-level parameter to represent individual animal feed efficiency as a result of reduced residual feed intake and compared High (intake = 94% of expected) and Very High (intake = 88% of expected) efficiency levels with a Baseline scenario (intake = 100% of expected). As expected, the simulated total feed intake was reduced by 6 and 12% for the High and Very High efficiency scenarios, and the expected impact of these improved efficiencies on the greenhouse gas emissions from enteric methane and manure storage was a decrease of 4.6 and 9.3%, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11051373DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8151839PMC
May 2021

Effects of red macroalgae supplementation on the shelf life of fresh whole muscle beef.

Transl Anim Sci 2021 Apr 19;5(2):txab056. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Department of Animal Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616-5270.

This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of red macroalgae supplementation for cattle on the shelf life of fresh beef steaks (). Three treatment groups (seven steers per treatment) included: 1) Control diet, 2) Control diet + 0.25% of macroalgae inclusion (low dose, LD), and 3) Control + 0.5% of macroalgae inclusion (high dose, HD). After the animals were harvested, the strip loins from all animals were collected and aged for 14 days at the meat lab of the University of California, Davis. Then the strip loins were cut into steaks, packaged, and placed on a retail display case for 6 days. During a retail display, instrumental color (L*, a*, and b*) of lean muscle and external fat surfaces were measured every 12 h. Bacterial counts for total aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB), aerobic psychrotrophic bacteria (APB), and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) were assessed on days 0, 3, and 6 of retail display. The thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) analysis was conducted to measure the lipid oxidation and the pH was also assessed on days 0, 3, and 6. No interactive effect between treatments and time on the shelf life of steaks was observed. The HD red macroalgae supplement decreased ( < 0.05) the lightness (L*) of the surface muscle of the steaks, while the lightness of the external fat was not affected ( < 0.05) by treatments throughout the retail display. The external fat yellowness of the steaks was lower ( < 0.05) in LD and HD treatment groups compared with the control group. An increase ( < 0.05) in counts of AMB, APB, and LAB was observed on the steaks from the steers in the HD treatment group while steaks in Control and LD group had similar bacterial numbers throughout the retail display. The results indicated that the shelf life of steaks from cattle in LD group remained the same as that of the Control group, but the HD of caused a darker color of steaks with higher microbial counts, which may lead to a shortened shelf life due to undesirable appearance and faster microbial spoilage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txab056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8140364PMC
April 2021

Effects of Notch2 on proliferation, apoptosis and steroidogenesis in bovine luteinized granulosa cells.

Theriogenology 2021 Sep 13;171:55-63. Epub 2021 May 13.

College of Animal Science, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu, 030801, Shanxi, China. Electronic address:

Notch signaling pathway plays an important regulatory role in the development of mammalian follicles. This study aimed to explore the effect of Notch2 on the function of bovine follicles luteinized granulosa cells (LGCs). We detected that the coding sequence (CDS) of bovine Notch2 gene is 7416 bp, encoding 2471 amino acids (AA). The homology of Notch2 AA sequence between bovine and other species is 86.04%-98.75%, indicating high conservatism. Immunohistochemistry found that Notch2 receptor and its ligand Jagged2 localize in granulosa cells (GCs) and theca cells in bovine antral follicles. And immunofluorescence found that positive signals of Notch2 and Jagged2 overlap in bovine LGCs, speculating that Notch2 receptor may react with Jagged2 ligand to activate Notch signaling pathway and play an important role in bovine LGCs. To further investigate the function of Notch2, Notch2 gene was silenced by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and CCK-8 analysis showed that the proliferation rate of LGCs was downregulated significantly (P < 0.01). Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) showed that the mRNA expression of apoptosis related gene Bcl-2/Bax decreased (P < 0.01) and Caspase3 increased (P < 0.05), cell cycle related gene CyclinD2/CDK4 complex decreased (P < 0.01) and P21 increased (P < 0.05), steroidogenesis gene STAR and 3β-HSD decreased (P < 0.01) while CYP19A1 and CYP11A1 had no significant difference (P > 0.05). In addition, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) showed that there was no difference in estradiol (E) secretion (P > 0.05) while the progesterone (P) secretion decreased (P < 0.01). In conclusion, Notch2 plays an important role in regulating bovine LGCs development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2021.05.009DOI Listing
September 2021

Red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) supplementation reduces enteric methane by over 80 percent in beef steers.

PLoS One 2021 17;16(3):e0247820. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.

The red macroalgae (seaweed) Asparagopsis spp. has shown to reduce ruminant enteric methane (CH4) production up to 99% in vitro. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Asparagopsis taxiformis on CH4 production (g/day per animal), yield (g CH4/kg dry matter intake (DMI)), and intensity (g CH4/kg ADG); average daily gain (ADG; kg gain/day), feed conversion efficiency (FCE; kg ADG/kg DMI), and carcass and meat quality in growing beef steers. Twenty-one Angus-Hereford beef steers were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: 0% (Control), 0.25% (Low), and 0.5% (High) A. taxiformis inclusion based on organic matter intake. Steers were fed 3 diets: high, medium, and low forage total mixed ration (TMR) representing life-stage diets of growing beef steers. The Low and High treatments over 147 days reduced enteric CH4 yield 45 and 68%, respectively. However, there was an interaction between TMR type and the magnitude of CH4 yield reduction. Supplementing low forage TMR reduced CH4 yield 69.8% (P <0.01) for Low and 80% (P <0.01) for High treatments. Hydrogen (H2) yield (g H2/DMI) increased (P <0.01) 336 and 590% compared to Control for the Low and High treatments, respectively. Carbon dioxide (CO2) yield (g CO2/DMI) increased 13.7% between Control and High treatments (P = 0.03). No differences were found in ADG, carcass quality, strip loin proximate analysis and shear force, or consumer taste preferences. DMI tended to decrease 8% (P = 0.08) in the Low treatment and DMI decreased 14% (P <0.01) in the High treatment. Conversely, FCE tended to increase 7% in Low (P = 0.06) and increased 14% in High (P <0.01) treatment compared to Control. The persistent reduction of CH4 by A. taxiformis supplementation suggests that this is a viable feed additive to significantly decrease the carbon footprint of ruminant livestock and potentially increase production efficiency.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247820PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7968649PMC
March 2021

Effects of β-Mannanase and Bacteriophage Supplementation on Health and Growth Performance of Holstein Calves.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Feb 2;11(2). Epub 2021 Feb 2.

Division of Animal and Dairy Sciences, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34143, Korea.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary supplementation with bacteriophage and β-mannanase on health and growth performance in calves. Thirty-six pre-weaning male Holstein calves were randomly allocated to one of four dietary treatments with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement: no supplementation, 0.1% β-mannanase, 0.1% bacteriophage, and both 0.1% bacteriophage and 0.1% β-mannanase supplementation in a starter on a dry matter basis. The experiment lasted from 2 weeks before weaning to 8 weeks after weaning. Twenty-two calves survived to the end of the experiment. No interaction was observed between the two different feed additives. The bacteriophage supplementation tended to increase the odds ratio of survival ( = 0.09). The number of in feces significantly decreased by bacteriophage supplementation one week after weaning. β-mannanase supplementation increased the concentrate intake ( < 0.01) and tended to increase the final BW ( = 0.08). Analysis of repeated measures indicated β-mannanase supplementation increased weekly body weight gain ( = 0.018). We conclude that bacteriophage supplementation may have a positive effect on calf survival rate, while β-mannanase supplementation may increase the growth rate and starter intake by calves just before and after weaning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11020372DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912937PMC
February 2021

Key Considerations for the Use of Seaweed to Reduce Enteric Methane Emissions From Cattle.

Front Vet Sci 2020 23;7:597430. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Washington, DC, United States.

Enteric methane emissions are the single largest source of direct greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in beef and dairy value chains and a substantial contributor to anthropogenic methane emissions globally. In late 2019, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) convened approximately 50 stakeholders representing research and production of seaweeds, animal feeds, dairy cattle, and beef and dairy foods to discuss challenges and opportunities associated with the use of seaweed-based ingredients to reduce enteric methane emissions. This article describes the considerations identified by the workshop participants and suggests next steps for the further development and evaluation of seaweed-based feed ingredients as enteric methane mitigants. Although numerous compounds derived from sources other than seaweed have been identified as having enteric methane mitigation potential, these mitigants are outside the scope of this article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.597430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7785520PMC
December 2020

Assessing the multiple resource use associated with pig feed consumption in the European Union.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Mar 8;759:144306. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Frederikborgsvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark. Electronic address:

Feed consumption is responsible for the largest shares of resource use required for producing pork. In the European Union (EU), a meat consumption decrease is expected in combination with a growth of meat production driven by foreign demand. This paper presents a multiple environmental assessment of the resource use linked to EU pig feed by performing a material flow analysis of each single feed item constituting the EU pig diet. The global relevance and the trade-driven interlinkages are disclosed by considering the country-specific resource efficiencies of 254 territories. Our analysis reveals that in 2017 a total resource use of 14.5 Mha of land, 51.9 Gm of green water, 3.9 Gm of blue water, 1.23 Mtonnes of nitrogen, 0.35 Mtonnes of phosphorous, and 0.34 Mtonnes of potassium was required to satisfy the EU demand of pig feed. Wheat-based products accounted for the largest share of land use (32%), green water (35%), nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilizer use (44% and 28%, respectively). Also soybean accounted for a significant share of land use (15%), green water (20%) and phosphorous from fertilizer use (25%). Moreover, soybean-related feed items contributed the most to the potassium use (24%). While the domestic production of cereals satisfied the demand, protein-based ingredients such as soybean were largely imported, mainly from South America, outsourcing the related environmental burden. Moreover, most of the feed from extra-EU countries resulted with higher resource use intensities than EU implying a potential resource saving if feed was domestically produced. Results obtained are discussed in relation to the many constraints that limit the possibility of increasing the EU feed production and promising alternative solutions. In particular, while some solutions seem promising in terms of savings, the current EU regulation needs to be redesigned to allow their implementation and the achievement of ambitious EU targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144306DOI Listing
March 2021

Improving adoption of technologies and interventions for increasing supply of quality livestock feed in low- and middle-income countries.

Glob Food Sec 2020 Sep;26:100372

Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems, University of Florida, 2250 Shealy Drive, Bldg 459, Room 125, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

The global increase in the demand for and production of animal-source foods (four-to five-fold increase between 1960 and 2015), which has been mostly concentrated in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), provides smallholder livestock producers with an opportunity for improving their livelihoods and food and nutrition security. However, across livestock production systems in many LMIC, limited supplies and high cost of good quality feed severely constrains exploitation of this opportunity. In many of such countries, feeds and feeding-related issues are often ranked as the primary constraint to livestock production and increased consumption of animal-source foods. Here we review the complex biophysical, socio-economic and technological challenges related to improving quality feed supply and the reasons for generally low adoption of apparently proven feed enhancement technologies. We describe also successful interventions and conclude by recommending strategies for improving quality feed supply in LMIC that account for and overcome the prevailing challenges.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gfs.2020.100372DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7726233PMC
September 2020

Effects of FOXO1 on the proliferation and cell cycle-, apoptosis- and steroidogenesis-related genes expression in sheep granulosa cells.

Anim Reprod Sci 2020 Oct 15;221:106604. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shanxi Agricultural University, Taigu, Shanxi, China. Electronic address:

Forkhead boxO (FOXO) transcription factors regulate diverse biological processes, including cellular metabolism, cell apoptosis, and the cell cycle. Results from several studies indicate FOXO1 regulates different granulosa cell (GC) pathways involved in proliferation, survival and differentiation. Functions and mechanisms of FOXO1 regulation of sheep GCs remain unclear. This study was conducted to analyze the function of FOXO1 in regulation of sheep GCs. In this study, the 1827 bp sheep FOXO1 coding sequence was cloned from sheep GCs. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis indicated that the FOXO1 protein sequence is highly homologous to FOXO1 protein sequences from other species. The results obtained from using CCK-8 assays indicated sheep GC proliferation increased when there was suppression of FOXO1 gene expression. When there was induced expression of the FOXO1 gene in sheep GCs, there was a resulting increased abundance of P21 and P27 mRNA transcript, whereas suppression of the FOXO1 gene expression had the opposite effect. Furthermore, the relative abundance in vitro of apoptosis-related protein mRNA transcripts (caspase3, caspase8, caspase9, Bax/Bcl-2) was markedly increased or decreased when there was induction or suppression of FOXO1 gene expression, respectively,(P < 0.05). Induction of FOXO1 gene expression resulted in an increase in abundance of steroidogenic protein mRNA transcripts (CYP11A1, 3β-HSD), while suppression of FOXO1 gene expresion resulted in a decrease abundance of the CYP11A1, STAR mRNA transcripts. Results from the present study indicated that FOXO1 inhibited the proliferation of sheep GCs and affected mRNA transcript abundance for proteins involved in regulation of apoptosis, the cell cycle and steroidogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2020.106604DOI Listing
October 2020

Net reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from feed additive use in California dairy cattle.

PLoS One 2020 18;15(9):e0234289. Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.

The livestock industry is one of the main contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and there is an increasing demand for the industry to reduce its carbon footprint. Several studies have shown that feed additives 3-nitroxypropanol and nitrate to be effective in reducing enteric methane emissions. The objective of this study was to estimate the net mitigating effect of using 3-nitroxypropanol and nitrate on total greenhouse gas emissions in California dairy industry. A life cycle assessment approach was used to conduct a cradle-to-farm gate environmental impact analysis based on dairy production system in California. Emissions associated with crop production, feed additive production, enteric methane, farm management, and manure storage were calculated and expressed as kg CO2 equivalents (CO2e) per kg of energy corrected milk. The total greenhouse gas emissions from baseline, 3-nitroxypropanol and nitrate offered during lactation were 1.12, 0.993, and 1.08 kg CO2e/kg energy corrected milk, respectively. The average net reduction rates for 3-nitroxypropanol and nitrate were 11.7% and 3.95%, respectively. In both cases, using the feed additives on the whole herd slightly improved overall carbon footprint reduction compared to limiting its use during lactation phase. Although both 3-nitroxypropanol and nitrate had effects on decreasing the total greenhouse gas emission, the former was much more effective with no known safety issues in reducing the carbon footprint of dairy production in California.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234289PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500595PMC
October 2020

Effect of Mootral-a garlic- and citrus-extract-based feed additive-on enteric methane emissions in feedlot cattle.

Transl Anim Sci 2019 Jul 16;3(4):1383-1388. Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Animal Science, University of California Davis, Davis, CA.

Enteric methane (CH) production is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock globally with beef cattle contributing 5.95% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Various mitigation strategies have been developed to reduce enteric emissions with limited success. In vitro studies have shown a reduction in CH emissions when using garlic and citrus extracts. However, there is paucity of data regarding in vivo studies investigating the effect of garlic and citrus extracts in cattle. The objective of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the response of Angus × Hereford cross steers consuming the feed additive Mootral, which contains extracts of both garlic and citrus, on CH yield (g/kg dry matter intake [DMI]). Twenty steers were randomly assigned to two treatments: control (no additive) and Mootral supplied at 15 g/d in a completely randomized design with a 2-wk covariate and a 12-wk data collection periods. Enteric CH emissions were measured using the GreenFeed system during the covariate period and experimental weeks 2, 6, 9, and 12. CH yield (g/kg DMI) by steers remained similar in both treatments for weeks 2 to 9. In week 12, there was a significant decrease in CH yield (23.2%) in treatment compared to control steers mainly because the steers were consuming all the pellets containing the additive. However, overall CH yield (g/kg DMI) during the entire experimental period was not significantly different. Carbon dioxide yield (g/kg DMI) and oxygen consumption (g/kg DMI) did not differ between treatments during the entire experimental period. DMI, average daily gain, and feed efficiency also remained similar in control and supplemented steers. The in vivo results showed that Mootral may have a potential to be used as a feed additive to reduce enteric CH production and yield in beef cattle but needs further investigation under various dietary regimen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txz133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7200514PMC
July 2019

Potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through different dairy cattle systems in subtropical regions.

PLoS One 2020 18;15(6):e0234687. Epub 2020 Jun 18.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.

Carbon (C) footprint of dairy production, expressed in kg C dioxide (CO2) equivalents (CO2e) (kg energy-corrected milk (ECM))-1, encompasses emissions from feed production, diet management and total product output. The proportion of pasture on diets may affect all these factors, mainly in subtropical climate zones, where cows may access tropical and temperate pastures during warm and cold seasons, respectively. The aim of the study was to assess the C footprint of a dairy system with annual tropical and temperate pastures in a subtropical region. The system boundary included all processes up to the animal farm gate. Feed requirement during the entire life of each cow was based on data recorded from Holstein × Jersey cow herds producing an average of 7,000 kg ECM lactation-1. The milk production response as consequence of feed strategies (scenarios) was based on results from two experiments (warm and cold seasons) using lactating cows from the same herd. Three scenarios were evaluated: total mixed ration (TMR) ad libitum intake, 75, and 50% of ad libitum TMR intake with access to grazing either a tropical or temperate pasture during lactation periods. Considering IPCC and international literature values to estimate emissions from urine/dung, feed production and electricity, the C footprint was similar between scenarios, averaging 1.06 kg CO2e (kg ECM)-1. Considering factors from studies conducted in subtropical conditions and actual inputs for on-farm feed production, the C footprint decreased 0.04 kg CO2e (kg ECM)-1 in scenarios including pastures compared to ad libitum TMR. Regardless of factors considered, emissions from feed production decreased as the proportion of pasture went up. In conclusion, decreasing TMR intake and including pastures in dairy cow diets in subtropical conditions have the potential to maintain or reduce the C footprint to a small extent.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0234687PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7302504PMC
August 2020

H NMR-based metabolomics study of breast meat from Pekin and Linwu duck of different ages and relation to meat quality.

Food Res Int 2020 07 24;133:109126. Epub 2020 Feb 24.

Hunan Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Changsha, Hunan 410131, China; Hunan Co-Innovation Center of Animal Production Safety (CICAPS), Changsha, Hunan 410128, China. Electronic address:

This study investigated the effects of breed and age on meat quality, and metabolite profiles of duck breast meat, and the relationship between changes in metabolite profiles and the meat quality. The meat quality and H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics of breast meat from Pekin and Linwu ducks at 2 different ages (42 and 72d) was analyzed. The results showed that age exerted a greater effect on the observed meat quality traits of breast meat than breed, and its interaction (breed × age) effect on pH values and yellowness (b*) of duck breast meat was significant. Total of 32 metabolites were detected in breast meat of Pekin and Linwu duck. The difference of metabolite profiles in breast meat between Pekin and Linwu duck at 72 d was greater than that at 42 d, while the effects of age on metabolites of duck meat from both breeds were similar. Anserine, aspartate, and carnosine were the most relevant metabolites of duck breast meat quality, and nicotinamide in duck breast meat was negatively correlated with cooking loss. These results provide an overall perspective for bridging the gap between the breed and age on duck meat quality and metabolome, and improve the understanding of the relationship between metabolites and duck meat quality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2020.109126DOI Listing
July 2020

Effects of dietary grape seed polyphenols supplementation during late gestation and lactation on antioxidant status in serum and immunoglobulin content in colostrum of multiparous sows1.

J Anim Sci 2019 May;97(6):2515-2523

Hunan Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Changsha, China.

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of dietary grape seed polyphenols (GSP) supplementation during the late gestation and lactation period on reproductive performance, antioxidative status in serum, nutrient composition, and Ig content in colostrum of multiparous sows. On day 80 of gestation, a total of 64 sows with similar body condition were allocated to a completely randomized block design with 4 dietary treatments (n = 16 sows per treatment): 1) basal diet (CON, control group); 2) basal diet supplemented with 200 IU/kg vitamin E (200VE, positive control group); 3) basal diet supplemented with 200 mg/kg GSP (200GSP); and 4) basal diet supplemented with 300 mg/kg GSP (300GSP). The trial lasted 56 d until the piglets were weaned on day 21 of lactation. Reproductive performance, parameters of antioxidative status, and levels of progesterone (P4) and estradiol (E2) in serum, nutrient composition, and Ig content in colostrum of sows were determined. The number of dead fetuses was reduced, and farrowing survival was significantly improved in the litters from 300GSP-fed (P < 0.05). Preweaning survivability significantly increased in the litters from sows fed 200GSP and 200VE (P < 0.05). The activity of superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in the serum was significantly increased in sows fed 200GSP and 300GSP (P < 0.05). The activity of GSH-Px in the serum also significantly increased in sows fed 200VE (P < 0.05). Sows fed 300GSP had the greatest levels of P4 and E2 in the serum, which was significantly greater than sows fed 200VE and CON (P < 0.05). No significant differences were found among treatments for the content of solids-not-fat, fat, protein, and lactose in colostrum (P > 0.05). However, sows fed GSP had greater IgM and IgG content in colostrum compared with sows fed 200VE and CON (P < 0.05). In conclusion, dietary GSP supplementation during late gestation and lactation improved the farrowing survival and preweaning survivability, enhanced the antioxidant status and hormone levels in serum, and increased the IgM and IgG content in colostrum of sows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6541821PMC
May 2019

Effect of the macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis on methane production and rumen microbiome assemblage.

Anim Microbiome 2019 Feb 12;1(1). Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, 2251 Meyer Hall, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

Background: Recent studies using batch-fermentation suggest that the red macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis has the potential to reduce methane (CH) production from beef cattle by up to ~ 99% when added to Rhodes grass hay; a common feed in the Australian beef industry. These experiments have shown significant reductions in CH without compromising other fermentation parameters (i.e. volatile fatty acid production) with A. taxiformis organic matter (OM) inclusion rates of up to 5%. In the study presented here, A. taxiformis was evaluated for its ability to reduce methane production from dairy cattle fed a mixed ration widely utilized in California, the largest milk producing state in the US.

Results: Fermentation in a semi-continuous in-vitro rumen system suggests that A. taxiformis can reduce methane production from enteric fermentation in dairy cattle by 95% when added at a 5% OM inclusion rate without any obvious negative impacts on volatile fatty acid production. High-throughput 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene amplicon sequencing showed that seaweed amendment effects rumen microbiome consistent with the Anna Karenina hypothesis, with increased β-diversity, over time scales of approximately 3 days. The relative abundance of methanogens in the fermentation vessels amended with A. taxiformis decreased significantly compared to control vessels, but this reduction in methanogen abundance was only significant when averaged over the course of the experiment. Alternatively, significant reductions of CH in the A. taxiformis amended vessels was measured in the early stages of the experiment. This suggests that A. taxiformis has an immediate effect on the metabolic functionality of rumen methanogens whereas its impact on microbiome assemblage, specifically methanogen abundance, is delayed.

Conclusions: The methane reducing effect of A. taxiformis during rumen fermentation makes this macroalgae a promising candidate as a biotic methane mitigation strategy for dairy cattle. But its effect in-vivo (i.e. in dairy cattle) remains to be investigated in animal trials. Furthermore, to obtain a holistic understanding of the biochemistry responsible for the significant reduction of methane, gene expression profiles of the rumen microbiome and the host animal are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s42523-019-0004-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7803124PMC
February 2019

Partitioning the efficiency of utilization of amino acids in growing broilers: Multiple linear regression and multivariate approaches.

PLoS One 2018 12;13(12):e0208488. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis, California, United States of America.

Determining the efficiency of amino acid (AA) utilization in growing animals is crucial to estimate their requirement accurately. In broiler chickens, the composition of AA in feather is different from feather-free body and the proportion of feathers will change along broiler's growth, which may impact the efficiency of utilization on AA consumed. Therefore, in order to establish a method that predicts the efficiency of utilization for feather-free body and feather, two approaches were evaluated: a multiple linear regression and a multivariate analysis. Additionally, a new factorial model was proposed to predict AA requirements in broiler chickens. Data from 13 trials that evaluated the requirements for lysine (Lys), sulphur AA (SAA), threonine (Thr), and valine (Val) in male broilers were used for the analyses. Both methods of analysis were consistent in showing that the efficiency of utilization in feather-free body and feather were different. Using multiple linear regression, the values of efficiency of utilization estimated in feather-free body were 0.68, 0.72, 0.81, 0.79 (mg of amino acid deposited / mg of amino acid consumed above maintenance) and in feather were 0.58, 0.77, 0.78, and 1.57 (mg/mg) for Lys, SAA, Thr, and Val, respectively. Applying the multivariate approach, the corresponding predicted values were 0.68, 0.67, 4.23, 0.27 (mg/mg) in feather-free body and 1.16, 0.86, 0.16, and 1.10 (mg/mg) in feather, respectively. According to the results, efficiency of utilization may be related, to some extent, on the concentration determined in each tissue. The uncertainty around the amount of AA consumed for gain directed to feather-free body or feather deposition could be a limitation for multivariate analyses. The results indicated that multiple linear regression predictions may be better estimates of utilization efficiency. However, more studies are needed to elucidate the effect of age on deposition and partitioning of dietary AA in different parts of the broiler.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208488PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6291294PMC
May 2019

Carbon and blue water footprints of California sheep production.

J Anim Sci 2019 Feb;97(2):945-961

Department of Animal Science, University of California, Davis.

While the environmental impacts of livestock production, such as greenhouse gas emissions and water usage, have been studied for a variety of US livestock production systems, the environmental impact of US sheep production is still unknown. A cradle-to-farm gate life cycle assessment (LCA) was conducted according to international standards (ISO 14040/44), analyzing the impacts of CS representing five different meat sheep production systems in California, and focusing on carbon footprint (carbon dioxide equivalents, CO2e) and irrigated water usage (metric ton, MT). This study is the first to look specifically at the carbon footprint of the California sheep industry and consider both wool and meat production across the diverse sheep production systems within California. This study also explicitly examined the carbon footprint of hair sheep as compared with wooled sheep production. Data were derived from producer interviews and literature values, and California-specific emission factors were used wherever possible. Flock outputs studied included market lamb meat, breeding stock, 2-d-old lambs, cull adult meat, and wool. Four different methane prediction models were examined, including the current IPCC tier 1 and 2 equations, and an additional sensitivity analysis was conducted to examine the effect of a fixed vs. flexible coefficient of gain (kg) in mature ewes on carbon footprint per ewe. Mass, economic, and protein mass allocation were used to examine the impact of allocation method on carbon footprint and water usage, while sensitivity analyses were used to examine the impact of ewe replacement rate (% of ewe flock per year) and lamb crop (lambs born per ewe bred) on carbon footprint per kilogram market lamb. The carbon footprint of market lamb production ranged from 13.9 to 30.6 kg CO2e/kg market lamb production on a mass basis, 10.4 to 18.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on an economic basis, and 6.6 to 10.1 kg CO2e/kg market lamb on a protein mass basis. Enteric methane (CH4) production was the largest single source of emissions for all CS, averaging 72% of total emissions. Emissions from feed production averaged 22% in total, primarily from manure emissions credited to feed. Whole-ranch water usage ranged from 2.1 to 44.8 MT/kg market lamb, almost entirely from feed production. Overall results were in agreement with those from meat-focused sheep systems in the United Kingdom as well as beef raised under similar conditions in California.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358244PMC
February 2019

Prediction of enteric methane production, yield, and intensity in dairy cattle using an intercontinental database.

Glob Chang Biol 2018 08 8;24(8):3368-3389. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK.

Enteric methane (CH ) production from cattle contributes to global greenhouse gas emissions. Measurement of enteric CH is complex, expensive, and impractical at large scales; therefore, models are commonly used to predict CH production. However, building robust prediction models requires extensive data from animals under different management systems worldwide. The objectives of this study were to (1) collate a global database of enteric CH production from individual lactating dairy cattle; (2) determine the availability of key variables for predicting enteric CH production (g/day per cow), yield [g/kg dry matter intake (DMI)], and intensity (g/kg energy corrected milk) and their respective relationships; (3) develop intercontinental and regional models and cross-validate their performance; and (4) assess the trade-off between availability of on-farm inputs and CH prediction accuracy. The intercontinental database covered Europe (EU), the United States (US), and Australia (AU). A sequential approach was taken by incrementally adding key variables to develop models with increasing complexity. Methane emissions were predicted by fitting linear mixed models. Within model categories, an intercontinental model with the most available independent variables performed best with root mean square prediction error (RMSPE) as a percentage of mean observed value of 16.6%, 14.7%, and 19.8% for intercontinental, EU, and United States regions, respectively. Less complex models requiring only DMI had predictive ability comparable to complex models. Enteric CH production, yield, and intensity prediction models developed on an intercontinental basis had similar performance across regions, however, intercepts and slopes were different with implications for prediction. Revised CH emission conversion factors for specific regions are required to improve CH production estimates in national inventories. In conclusion, information on DMI is required for good prediction, and other factors such as dietary neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration, improve the prediction. For enteric CH yield and intensity prediction, information on milk yield and composition is required for better estimation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14094DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6055644PMC
August 2018

Thermodynamic Driving Force of Hydrogen on Rumen Microbial Metabolism: A Theoretical Investigation.

PLoS One 2016 26;11(10):e0161362. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Animal Nutrition Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Hydrogen is a key product of rumen fermentation and has been suggested to thermodynamically control the production of the various volatile fatty acids (VFA). Previous studies, however, have not accounted for the fact that only thermodynamic near-equilibrium conditions control the magnitude of reaction rate. Furthermore, the role of NAD, which is affected by hydrogen partial pressure (PH2), has often not been considered. The aim of this study was to quantify the control of PH2 on reaction rates of specific fermentation pathways, methanogenesis and NADH oxidation in rumen microbes. The control of PH2 was quantified using the thermodynamic potential factor (FT), which is a dimensionless factor that corrects a predicted kinetic reaction rate for the thermodynamic control exerted. Unity FT was calculated for all glucose fermentation pathways considered, indicating no inhibition of PH2 on the production of a specific type of VFA (e.g., acetate, propionate and butyrate) in the rumen. For NADH oxidation without ferredoxin oxidation, increasing PH2 within the rumen physiological range decreased FT from unity to zero for different NAD+ to NADH ratios and pH of 6.2 and 7.0, which indicates thermodynamic control of PH2. For NADH oxidation with ferredoxin oxidation, increasing PH2 within the rumen physiological range decreased FT from unity at pH of 7.0 only. For the acetate to propionate conversion, FT increased from 0.65 to unity with increasing PH2, which indicates thermodynamic control. For propionate to acetate and butyrate to acetate conversions, FT decreased to zero below the rumen range of PH2, indicating full thermodynamic suppression. For methanogenesis by archaea without cytochromes, FT differed from unity only below the rumen range of PH2, indicating no thermodynamic control. This theoretical investigation shows that thermodynamic control of PH2 on individual VFA produced and associated yield of hydrogen and methane cannot be explained without considering NADH oxidation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0161362PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5081179PMC
June 2017

Nutritional and Environmental Effects on Ammonia Emissions from Dairy Cattle Housing: A Meta-Analysis.

J Environ Qual 2016 Jul;45(4):1123-32

Nitrogen excreted in dairy manure can be potentially transformed and emitted as NH, which can create livestock and human respiratory problems and be an indirect source of NO. The objectives of this study were to: (i) investigate environmental factors influencing NH emissions from dairy housing; and (ii) identify key explanatory variables in the NH emissions prediction from dairy housing using a meta-analytical approach. Data from 25 studies were used for the preliminary analysis, and data from 10 studies reporting 87 treatment means were used for the meta-analysis. Season and flooring type significantly affected NH emissions. For nutritional effect analysis, the between-study variability (heterogeneity) of mean NH emission was estimated using random-effect models and had a significant effect ( < 0.01). Therefore, random-effect models were extended to mixed-effect models to explain heterogeneity regarding the available dietary and animal variables. The final mixed-effect model included milk yield, dietary crude protein, and dry matter intake separately, explaining 45.5% of NH emissions heterogeneity. A unit increase in milk yield (kg d) resulted in a 4.9 g cow d reduction in NH emissions, and a unit increase in dietary crude protein content (%) and dry matter intake (kg d) resulted in 10.2 and 16.3 g cow d increases in NH emissions, respectively, in the scope of this study. These results can be further used to help identify mitigation strategies to reduce NH emissions from dairy housing by developing predictive models that could determine variables with strong association with NH emissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2015.07.0389DOI Listing
July 2016

Models for predicting enteric methane emissions from dairy cows in North America, Europe, and Australia and New Zealand.

Glob Chang Biol 2016 09 11;22(9):3039-56. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Department of Animal Science, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA, 95616, USA.

There are several models in the literature for predicting enteric methane (CH4 ) emissions. These models were often developed on region or country-specific data and may not be able to predict the emissions successfully in every region. The majority of extant models require dry matter intake (DMI) of individual animals, which is not routinely measured. The objectives of this study were to (i) evaluate performance of extant models in predicting enteric CH4 emissions from dairy cows in North America (NA), Europe (EU), and Australia and New Zealand (AUNZ) and (ii) explore the performance using estimated DMI. Forty extant models were challenged on 55, 105, and 52 enteric CH4 measurements (g per lactating cow per day) from NA, EU, and AUNZ, respectively. The models were ranked using root mean square prediction error as a percentage of the average observed value (RMSPE) and concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). A modified model of Nielsen et al. (Acta Agriculturae Scand Section A, 63, 2013 and 126) using DMI, and dietary digestible neutral detergent fiber and fatty acid contents as predictor variables, were ranked highest in NA (RMSPE = 13.1% and CCC = 0.78). The gross energy intake-based model of Yan et al. (Livestock Production Science, 64, 2000 and 253) and the updated IPCC Tier 2 model were ranked highest in EU (RMSPE = 11.0% and CCC = 0.66) and AUNZ (RMSPE = 15.6% and CCC = 0.75), respectively. DMI of cows in NA and EU was estimated satisfactorily with body weight and fat-corrected milk yield data (RMSPE < 12.0% and CCC > 0.60). Using estimated DMI, the Nielsen et al. (2013) (RMSPE = 12.7 and CCC = 0.79) and Yan et al. (2000) (RMSPE = 13.7 and CCC = 0.50) models still predicted emissions in respective regions well. Enteric CH4 emissions from dairy cows can be predicted successfully (i.e., RMSPE < 15%), if DMI can be estimated with reasonable accuracy (i.e., RMSPE < 10%).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13339DOI Listing
September 2016

Impact of nutrition and salinity changes on biological performances of green and white sturgeon.

PLoS One 2015 1;10(4):e0122029. Epub 2015 Apr 1.

Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California Davis, Davis, California, United States of America.

Green and white sturgeon are species of high conservational and economic interest, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Delta (SFBD) for which significant climate change-derived alterations in salinity and nutritional patterns are forecasted. Although there is paucity of information, it is critical to test the network of biological responses underlying the capacity of animals to tolerate current environmental changes. Through nutrition and salinity challenges, climate change will likely have more physiological effect on young sturgeon stages, which in turn may affect growth performance. In this study, the two species were challenged in a multiple-factor experimental setting, first to levels of feeding rate, and then to salinity levels for different time periods. Data analysis included generalized additive models to select predictors of growth performance (measured by condition factor) among the environmental stressors considered and a suite of physiological variables. Using structural equation modeling, a path diagram is proposed to quantify the main linkages among nutrition status, salinity, osmoregulation variables, and growth performances. Three major trends were anticipated for the growth performance of green and white sturgeon in the juvenile stage in the SFBD: (i) a decrease in prey abundance will be highly detrimental for the growth of both species; (ii) an acute increase in salinity within the limits studied can be tolerated by both species but possibly the energy spent in osmoregulation may affect green sturgeon growth within the time window assessed; (iii) the mechanism of synergistic effects of nutrition and salinity changes will be more complex in green sturgeon, with condition factor responding nonlinearly to interactions of salinity and nutrition status or time of salinity exposure. Green sturgeon merits special scientific attention and conservation effort to offset the effects of feed restriction and salinity as key environmental stressors in the SFBD.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122029PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4382339PMC
April 2016

Livestock methane emissions in the United States.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Apr 11;111(14):E1320. Epub 2014 Mar 11.

Department of Animal Science, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1401046111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3986177PMC
April 2014

Effects of diet and exercise interventions on diabetes risk factors in adults without diabetes: meta-analyses of controlled trials.

Diabetol Metab Syndr 2014 24;6:127. Epub 2014 Nov 24.

Department of Animal and Poultry Science, Centre for Nutrition Modelling, University of Guelph, Guelph, N1G 2 W1 Ontario Canada.

Background And Aims: Fasting insulin (FI), fasting glucose (FG), systolic blood pressure (SBP), high density lipoproteins (HDL), triacylglycerides (TAG), and body mass index (BMI) are well-known risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Reliable estimates of lifestyle intervention effects on these factors allow diabetes risk to be predicted accurately. The present meta-analyses were conducted to quantitatively summarize effects of diet and exercise intervention programs on FI, FG, SBP, HDL, TAG and BMI in adults without diabetes.

Materials And Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched to find studies involving diet plus exercise interventions. Studies were required to use adults not diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, involve both dietary and exercise counseling, and include changes in diabetes risk factors as outcome measures. Data from 18, 24, 23, 30, 29 and 29 studies were used for the analyses of FI, FG, SBP, HDL, TAG and BMI, respectively. About 60% of the studies included exclusively overweight or obese adults. Mean age and BMI of participants at baseline were 48 years and 30.1 kg/m(2). Heterogeneity of intervention effects was first estimated using random-effect models and explained further with mixed-effects models.

Results: Adults receiving diet and exercise education for approximately one year experienced significant (P <0.001) reductions in FI (-2.56 ± 0.58 mU/L), FG (-0.18 ± 0.04 mmol/L), SBP (-2.77 ± 0.56 mm Hg), TAG (-0.258 ± 0.037 mmol/L) and BMI (-1.61 ± 0.13 kg/m(2)). These risk factor changes were related to a mean calorie intake reduction of 273 kcal/d, a mean total fat intake reduction of 6.3%, and 40 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise four times a week. Lifestyle intervention did not have an impact on HDL. More than 99% of total variability in the intervention effects was due to heterogeneity. Variability in calorie and fat intake restrictions, exercise type and duration, length of the intervention period, and the presence or absence of glucose, insulin, or lipid abnormalities explained 23-63% of the heterogeneity.

Conclusions: Calorie and total fat intake restrictions coupled with moderate intensity aerobic exercises significantly improved diabetes risk factors in healthy normoglycemic adults although normoglycemic adults with glucose, insulin, and lipid abnormalities appear to benefit more.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1758-5996-6-127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424492PMC
May 2015
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