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Natural proteolysis inhibitors

Dietary protein entering the rumen is broken down in an apparently uncontrolled way, resulting in ammonia formation and subsequent loss of nitrogen in the urine. The low efficiency of nitrogen retention, which represents a major economic loss, causes metabolic stress in the animal, and also places a burden on the environment, by way of nitrogen-rich wastes. If the breakdown process could be decreased these problems would be decreased. Rumen-up studies have shown that the components of a subgroup consisting of plant materials from Helianthemum canum, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Epilobium montanum, Knautia arvensis and Peltiphyllum peltatum and extracts thereof, considerably reduce the ruminal proteolysis. In addition, all of these components inhibit the activity of protozoa and most of them have also beneficial influences on other essential fermentation parameters, such as the methane production, the amount of volatile fatty acids, the digestibility, the microbial biomass and/or the fermentation efficiency. The most suitable components are plant materials from Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Knautia arvensis and Helianthemum canum and extracts thereof. Most preferred components are plant materials from Knautia arvensis and its extracts, especially methanol extracts.

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