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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prediction of body composition of dairy cows at three physiological stages from deuterium oxide and urea dilution.

To develop equations for predicting body composition, mature Holstein cows (n = 21) were slaughtered at three physiological stages (-7, 63, and 269 d postpartum) after consecutive intravenous dosing with urea and D2O. Blood was sampled at 0 and 12 min after dosing with urea for determination of urea space and from 0 to 72 h after dosing with D2O. Empty body water and total body water were estimated by dilution kinetics for D2O using two- and one-compartment models, respectively. At slaughter, body components were ground, sampled, and freeze-dried for chemical analysis. Prediction of empty body water by urea space was not an improvement over the prediction by body weight alone. Prediction by D2O dilution explained 73 and 87% of the variation in empty and total body water, respectively. Estimated body protein, as determined from empty body water, predicted actual body protein with an error of 4.7 kg. Daily DMI explained 84% of the variation in the DM of the gastrointestinal tract contents (DM fill). Estimations of empty body fat (R2 = .85) and empty body energy (R2 = .89) from D2O dilution were capable of detecting significant differences in body fat (42.9 kg) and body energy (375 Mcal) across physiological stages and might be useful for prediction of body composition changes during the lactation cycle.[1]


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