Cornell Nutrition Conference – New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition, Dr. Jose Santos, University of Florida

Posted: März 16, 2023

Podcast Topic

Joining together for the second episode of the New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition from the 2022 Cornell Nutrition Conference four-part mini-series to discuss animal nutrition requirements are remarks from Dr. Jose Santos, University of Florida and topical insights from Dr. Clay Zimmerman from Balchem.


Dr. Jose Santos of Cornell University

Episode 65: Cornell Nutrition Conference – New Revelations in Transition Cow Nutrition, Dr. Santos, University of Florida


Bringing forward the most recent research on choline supplementation, Dr. Santos began the second in the series focusing on nutritional mechanisms and their essential benefits in animal growth and performance. 3:45

Choline was first introduced in the 1700s by chemists and pharmacists. Still, it wasn’t until about 40 years ago that Derek Lindsay from England discovered that most phospholipids in ruminants are synthesized de novo. Dr. Santos mentioned that studies show more than 90% of choline in feeds doesn’t show up past the rumen, adding to the lag in understanding when the essential nutrient shows up in the small intestine. 5:32

As a required nutrient, Dr. Santos shared that choline is required for the structural integrity of cell membranes, neural tissue and the components of phospholipids and sphingolipids. 7:01

As cows approach calving and during the first two weeks of lactation, Dr. Santos suggests that it is the optimum time to provide choline as a building block for phosphatidylcholine. 17:35

Sharing a heat map study on the effects of choline in hepatic tissue, Dr. Santos said it ultimately shows that supplementing choline reduces glycerol and increases the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine. He added that as studies focus on hepatic triglyceride, acid basis or dry matter basis, the benefits of choline at different dosage levels benefit the same. 22:30

But do low-body condition cows react to choline supplementation the same as high-body condition cows during the transition period? Dr. Santos shifted directions, adding that he’s found low body conditions cows responded to choline with more milk and energy. He added that studies show supplying choline to nutrient-deficient animals enhances their ability to transport and absorb nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract. 41:55

Dr. Santos mentioned not only does choline facilitate phospholipid synthesis and plays a large role in the transportation of fatty acids, he believes it’s an unquestionable supplementation that fits the requirements as a required nutrient. 46:35

Wrapping up the conversation, Dr. Zimmerman highlighted key points from Dr. Santos and summarized consistent responses the industry continues to see in the meta-analysis of added choline in a range of production levels. 49:15

If you would like to review Dr. Jose Santo’s webinar from the 2022 Cornell Mini Symposium, you can view all four webinars in the series at

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