Net absorption and hepatic metabolism of glucose, l-lactate, and volatile fatty acids by steers fed diets containing sorghum grain processed as dry-rolled or steam-flaked at different densities

O. Lozano, C. B. Theurer, A. Alio, J. T. Huber, A. Delgado-Elorduy, S Peder Cuneo, D. DeYoung, M. Sadik, R. S. Swingle

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16 Scopus citations


We determined the effect of processing method (dry-rolled [DR] vs steam-flaked [SF]) and degree of processing (flake density; FD) of SF sorghum grain on splanchnic (gut and liver) metabolism of energy-yielding nutrients by growing steers. Diets contained 77% sorghum grain, either DR or SF, with SF at densities of 437, 360, or 283 g/L (SF34, SF28, or SF22). Eight multicatheterized steers (340 kg initial BW) were used in a randomized complete block design. Net output or uptake of glucose, L-lactate, VFA, and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBA) were measured across portal-drained viscera (PDV), liver, and splanchnic (PDV plus liver) tissues. Net absorption of glucose across PDV was negative and similar for all treatments (average of-104 g/d). Decreasing FD of SF sorghum grain linearly increased (P ≤ .04) net absorption and splanchnic output of L-lactate by 20 and 130%, respectively, and hepatic synthesis (P = .06) and splanchnic output (P = .01) of glucose by 50%. Reducing FD did not alter output or uptake of acetate or n-butyrate by gut and liver tissues, but linearly decreased (P = .06) splanchnic output of BHBA by 40%. Net absorption (P = .18) and splanchnic output (P = .15) of propionate tended to be increased linearly by 50% with decreasing FD. Neither processing method (SF vs DR) nor degree of processing (varying FD) altered hepatic nutrient extraction ratios or estimated net absorption and splanchnic output of energy. Maximal contribution of propionate, L-lactate, and amino acids (α-amino N) to gluconeogenesis averaged 49, 11, and 20%, respectively. Feeding steers SF compared to DR diets did not alter net output or uptake of energy-yielding nutrients across splanchnic tissues, except net absorption of acetate tended to be greater (P = .13) for steers fed DR. Increasing degree of grain processing in the present study, by incrementally decreasing FD, tended to linearly increase the net absorption of glucose precursors (propionate and lactate), resulting in linear increases in synthesis and output of glucose by the liver to extrasplanchnic tissues (e.g., muscle).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1371
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2000



  • Beef steers
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Flaking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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