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Research article2009Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of capric acid on rumen methanogenesis and biohydrogenation of linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid

Goel, G; Arvidsson, Katarina; Vlaeminck, B; Bruggeman, G; Fievez, V; Deschepper, K.


Capric acid (00:0), a medium chain fatty acid, was evaluated for its anti-methanogenic activity and its potential to modify the rumen biohydrogenation of linoleic (C18:2n-6) and alpha-linolenic acids (083n-3). A standard dairy concentrate (0.5 g), supplemented with sunflower oil (10 mg) and linseed oil (10 mg) and increasing doses of capric acid (0, 10, 20 and 30 mg), was incubated with mixed rumen contents and buffer (1: 4 v/v) for 24 h. The methane inhibitory effect of capric acid was more pronounced at the highest (30 mg) dose compared to the medium (20 mg) (-85% v. -34%), whereas the lower dose (10 mg) did not reduce rumen methanogenesis. A 23% decrease in total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production was observed, accompanied by shifts towards increased butyrate at 20 mg and increased propionate at 30 mg of capric acid (P < 0.001). Capric acid linearly decreased the extent of biohydrogenation of C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3, by up to 60% and 86%, respectively. This reduction was partially due to a lower extent of lipolysis when capric acid was supplemented. Capric acid at 20 and 30 mg completely inhibited the production of C18:0 (P < 0.001), resulting in an accumulation of biohydrogenation intermediates, mainly 08:1110 + t11 and C18:2t11c15. In contrast to effects on rumen fermentation (methane production and proportions of SCFA), 30 mg of capric acid did not induce major changes in rumen biohydrogenation as compared to the medium (20 mg) dose. This study revealed the dual action of capric acid, being inhibitory to both methane production and biohydrogenation of C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3.


capric acid; rumen fermentation; methane; biohydrogenation

Published in

2009, Volume: 3, number: 6, pages: 810-816

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

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