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Interpretive Summary: Effects of increasing calcium propionate in a finishing diet on dry matter intake and glucose metabolism in steers

By Anne Zinn

A study recently published in the Journal of Animal Science aimed to determine whether or not increasing propionate alters dry matter intake, glucose clearance rate, blood metabolites, insulin concentrations, and hepatic gene expression in steers fed a finishing diet. It was hypothesized that increasing propionate supply would decrease dry matter intake and decrease insulin sensitivity in steers.

Overall, results of the present study suggest that increasing calcium propionate supply for steers fed a finishing ration may decrease dry matter intake and insulin sensitivity. Direct feeding of calcium propionate did not result in an effect on basal circulating blood glucose, but did slightly decrease insulin sensitivity as evidenced by an increase in insulin response to the intravenous glucose tolerance test to evoke similar glucose clearance rates. Additional research is needed to determine whether the palatability of calcium propionate is a factor in the decreased dry matter intake seen.

The full paper can be found on the Journal of Animal Science webpage.