Utah research finds grazed cows have 300 to 500% more CLA in milk

Staff report

LOGAN, Utah: Research at Utah State University has shown that cows grazing on pasture have 300 to 500% more CLA in milk fat compared with cows fed a typical dairy cow diet containing 50% conserved forage (hay or silage) and 50% grain concentrate.

Grass consumed in the fresh state is more efficient in increasing CLA in milk than the same grass fed in dried form as hay or silage.

CLA has been shown to have a variety of health benefits in animal models such as prevention of tumor development and growth, protection of arterial walls from plaque formation, antidiabetic effects and promotion of lean growth while diminishing fat deposition.

The research at Utah State also showed that the milk from cows grazed on pasture have a similar positive increase in omega-3 fatty acid as in CLA. The cows milk from grazed pasture had 1.15% of total fat in omega-3 fatty acids versus only 0.38% for the concentrate-supplemented cows.

The research also showed that the milk from cows grazing on pasture had 200% more vitamin E compared to typically fed dairy cows. Vitamin E is essential for reproduction and immune functions in humans.

In conclusion, the milk from cows grazing on pasture had higher levels of fatty acids and vitamins that are essential for human health.

The Utah researchers said they believed the CLA intake in humans can be increased to a level that has been shown to reduce the incidences of cancer in animal models through the consumption of high CLA dairy and meat products from cows grazing on green, living pasture.

by The Stockman Grass Farmer


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