If three is company then 100 trillion is definitely a crowd.
These microbes, collectively called “the microbiome”, are distributed throughout the body where they perform a number of vital functions that we cannot do ourselves. The largest number of microbiome resides in the largest organ, the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). The GIT represents the digestive organs. More precisely the small and large intestine. One can imagine these regions of the GIT analogous to the Great Wall of China. The tissues serve as an expansive defensive barrier with a complex network of gate openings.
The physical barrier provides protection from the invasion of infectious agents and pathogens, while the gate openings control the uptake of nutrients and the exit of waste materials. The resident microbiome represents the communities of soldiers that reinforce the barrier through communication with the host and by providing energy to sustain the tissues. One can appreciate that maintenance of the GIT is essential to life and overall health.
What about cows?
Dairy cattle also have a microbiome, the largest population living in the rumen. The rumen microbiome is a major contributor to animal efficiency; enabling the cow to digest plant materials that cannot be digested by other animals. The role that GIT microbiome play in dairy cow production has not received as much attention. The functional similarities of the GIT microbiome in dairy cows and non-ruminants has brought about a renewed interest in understanding how the GIT influences cow health and productivity. Enhancing the function of GIT and its microbiome may unlock the key to maximal animal efficiency.
Cremalto was created (patent pending) and tested in a series of feeding experiments. Cremalto contains the active ingredient calcium gluconate. Studies in humans and pigs showed that calcium gluconate has beneficial effects in the GIT. More specifically calcium gluconate stimulates the growth of good GIT bacteria and these bacteria produce more butyrate.
What our research shows
Whether calcium gluconate could be beneficial for dairy cattle had not been examined previously. In our first study, an infusion method was used where a long flexible tube was guided through the rumen and inserted and anchored into the abomasum. The approach allowed calcium gluconate to bypass the rumen making it available to the GIT. These infusion experiments demonstrated significant increases in milk fat yield. The success of these experiments, begged the question if calcium gluconate could also be beneficial for rumen bacteria. However, when tested no animal performance benefits were observed when calcium gluconate was fed in the TMR. Together these findings provided evidence that calcium gluconate worked best in the GIT of lactating dairy cows. The most pivotal study was a full lactation study, where cows were randomized to receive Cremalto or a control diet 3 weeks prior to calving until day 305 of lactation.