Choline combats NEFAs

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Choline may help reduce fatty liver, according to research from the University of Wisconsin.

During one experiment, researchers induced fatty liver in far-off dry cows by feeding them a restricted diet — 30 percent of their maintenance energy requirement. The restricted diet was meant to simulate the decrease in feed intake that often occurs before calving. During that time, the cows received 15 grams of rumen-protected choline per day to see if it would reduce fatty liver. A control group of far-off dry cows received no choline.

The results show cows fed choline had lower nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) levels in the blood and stored less fat in the liver — two signs that indicate choline may help reduce fatty liver during times of decreased feed intake.

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