Review/Oorsig Volume 22, Issue 01 - Page 26

“ Oorsig/Review Seaweed, or macro- algae, is a source of many nutrients including carbohydrates (mainly polysaccharides), proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins. marine algae, or seaweed, as a source of new products that can help accomplish this goal. Seaweed is an abundant and renewable resource that has played a role in the lives of people and animals in the Brittany area of France for hundreds of years. Feeding seaweed to animals is nothing new, but Olmix is bringing a new scientific approach to how people and animals can benefit from seaweed. A source of nutrition and health Seaweed, or macro-algae, is a source of many nutrients including carbohydrates (mainly polysaccharides), proteins, lipids, minerals, and vitamins. Macro-algae are also particularly rich in biologically active compounds known as algae sulfated polysaccharides. The uniqueness of these algae sulfated polysaccharides comes from the complexity of their structure which are branched hetero-polysaccharides containing sulfate groups. These are structurally different from polysaccharides that come from terrestrial plants, like starch and cellulose, which are simply straight chains of glucose molecules without any branching or sulfate groups. The biological activity of the algae sulfated polysaccharides is due to their complex structure (branching), presence of multiple and rare sugars, and the sulfate content. Olmix has isolated several unique algae sulfated polysaccharides from green, red, and brown seaweed that have been incorporated into products that help manage some of the most common and economically important problems that dairy producers encounter. Managing digestive troubles Diarrhea, whether from dietary or pathogenic 26 origin, is one of the major issues dairy producers struggle with in young calves. The surface of the gastrointestinal tract is covered with a protective layer of mucus to help prevent diarrhea causing bacteria like E. coli and salmonella from entering the body. Olmix has developed a product called Diet which contains the algae sulfated polysaccharide known as MSPMUCIN along with montmorillonite clay and electrolytes. MSPMUCIN has been shown to increase the production of mucin by the goblet cells in the intestines. This helps to thicken and fortify the protective mucus layer covering the intestinal epithelial cells and prevent harmful pathogens from entering the body. The montmorillonite clay also has a protective action towards the gastrointestinal mucosa, acts as an antacid, and adsorbs gas and toxins preventing them from entering the body. Reducing metabolic disorders Ketosis is a metabolic disease caused by a severe negative energy balance between feed intake and the energy required for maintenance and milk production. It is most commonly seen in cows that have recently calved and are in their third or higher lactation, but can be seen in younger cows and at any time. This negative energy balance causes a mobilization and degradation of body fat which puts a tremendous strain on the liver and results in ketone bodies building up in the bloodstream. β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA) is the main ketone body and is most commonly used to diagnose ketosis. Clinical ketosis is easy to detect and easy to treat unless it is accompanied by hepatic lipidosis, also known as fatty liver. Signs of clinical ketosis include a rapid appetite and weight loss associated with a decline in milk production. Cows with clinical ketosis will have blood BHBA levels greater than 1.4 mMol/L. There is also a subclinical form of ketosis that does not show the obvious clinical signs of a sudden decrease in appetite and milk production. The best indication of subclinical ketosis is blood BHBA levels in excess of 1.2mMol/L. Rapid and accurate cow side tests that can be performed in the barn are now available for measuring blood BHBA levels. Cows with either clinical or subclinical ketosis will produce less milk and have a much greater risk of metritis, displaced abomasum, fertility problems, and early removal from the herd. Understanding the negative impact ketosis has