Linum usitatissimum

Use of flax expeller in calf starters

Maria Villagrasa

Flax is one of the oldest crops in the world. Much of its interest lies in the type of fiber it produces and the high oil content of its seed, rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA), in particular, alpha-linolenic acid (51%).

Linolenic (C18:3) and linoleic (C18:2) acids are essential for humans and must be obtained from food fats and oils because the body cannot synthesize them. Likewise, both FA play a critical role in the productive performance and immunity of ruminants. In general, omega-6 FA function as pro-inflammatory precursors whereas omega-3 FA are substrates for the synthesis of resolvins and proteins that reduce inflammation.

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Effects of feeding extruded linseed on fertility of dairy cows

Effects of feeding extruded linseed on fertility of dairy cows

Fernando Díaz

Flax is a cool climate crop grown mainly for production of fiber and food. Its seed, linseed, is rich in oil which contains more than 50% of the essential fatty acid alfa-linolenic acid (omega-3). Linolenic acid is converted into eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, precursors of eicosanoids such as prostaglandins. Moreover, linseed is one of the richest sources of lignans, a phytoestrogen. Supplementing linseed to dairy cows increases omega-3 acid content in plasma and reproductive tissues, which can affect the development of ovarian follicles and corpus luteum.

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