• Effect of dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation and post-insemination plane of nutrition on systemic concentrations of metabolic analytes, progesterone, hepatic gene expression and embryo development and survival in beef heifers

      Doyle, D. N.; Lonergan, P.; Diskin, Michael G.; Pierce, K.M.; Kelly, Alan K; STANTON, CATHERINE; Waters, Sinead M.; Parr, M. H.; Kenny, David A.; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; et al. (Elsevier, 2018-12-26)
      Nutrition, and particularly dietary energy intake, plays a fundamental role in reproductive function in cattle. There is some evidence that supplemental omega-3 dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) can exert positive effects on fertility. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effect of dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation, post-insemination energy plane of nutrition and their interaction on embryo survival in cattle. Crossbred beef heifers (n = 185) were individually offered barley straw ad libitum and 6 kg DM of concentrate supplemented with either a rumen-protected source of saturated fatty acid (palmitic; control, CON) or a partially rumen-protected n-3 PUFA-enriched supplement (n-3 PUFA). Estrous was synchronised using two injections of PG administered at 11-d intervals and following artificial insemination (AI = Day 0) 179 heifers exhibiting oestrus were inseminated and assigned to one of two dietary treatments: (i) remain on their pre-insemination high dietary plane of nutrition (High) or (ii) restricted to 0.6 × estimated maintenance energy requirements (Low) in a 2 × 2 factorial design. The heifers were then maintained on their assigned diets until slaughter and embryo recovery on Day 16 (n = 92) or pregnancy diagnosis by ultrasound scanning at Day 30 post-AI (n = 87). Plasma concentrations of fatty acids, metabolites, insulin, progesterone (P4) and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were measured at appropriate intervals. Hepatic expression of mRNA for aldo-keto reductase (AKR1C), cytochrome P450 2C (CYP 2C) and cytochrome P450 3A (CYP 3A) was examined. The n-3 PUFA supplementation increased plasma n-3 PUFA concentration (P < 0.05) and reduced n-6: n-3 PUFA ratio (P < 0.05). Plasma IGF-1 was higher for n-3 PUFA relative to the CON (P < 0.05) and for High compared with Low plane of nutrition post-AI (P < 0.05) groups. A low plane of nutrition post-AI increased plasma concentrations of progesterone from Days 7–16 after insemination (P < 0.001) but reduced embryo length (P < 0.001). Supplementation with n-3 PUFA reduced and tended to reduce hepatic expression of CYP2C (P = 0.01) and CYP3A (P = 0.08), respectively. However, while dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation and an abrupt reduction in nutrient status following insemination elevated plasma concentrations of n-3 PUFA and mid and late phase P4, respectively, there was no effect of either PUFA supplementation or post-insemination plane of nutrition on embryo survival.
    • Prebiotics from Seaweeds: An Ocean of Opportunity?

      Cherry, Paul; Yadav, Supriya; Strain, Conall R.; Allsopp, Philip J.; McSorley, Emeir; Ross, R Paul; STANTON, CATHERINE; Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; 13F511 (PREMARA) (MDPI, 2019-06-01)
      Abstract Seaweeds are an underexploited and potentially sustainable crop which offer a rich source of bioactive compounds, including novel complex polysaccharides, polyphenols, fatty acids, and carotenoids. The purported efficacies of these phytochemicals have led to potential functional food and nutraceutical applications which aim to protect against cardiometabolic and inflammatory risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and some cancers. Concurrent understanding that perturbations of gut microbial composition and metabolic function manifest throughout health and disease has led to dietary strategies, such as prebiotics, which exploit the diet-host-microbe paradigm to modulate the gut microbiota, such that host health is maintained or improved. The prebiotic definition was recently updated to “a substrate that is selectively utilised by host microorganisms conferring a health benefit”, which, given that previous discussion regarding seaweed prebiotics has focused upon saccharolytic fermentation, an opportunity is presented to explore how non-complex polysaccharide components from seaweeds may be metabolised by host microbial populations to benefit host health. Thus, this review provides an innovative approach to consider how the gut microbiota may utilise seaweed phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and carotenoids, and provides an updated discussion regarding the catabolism of seaweed-derived complex polysaccharides with potential prebiotic activity. Additional in vitro screening studies and in vivo animal studies are needed to identify potential prebiotics from seaweeds, alongside untargeted metabolomics to decipher microbial-derived metabolites from seaweeds. Furthermore, controlled human intervention studies with health-related end points to elucidate prebiotic efficacy are required.