Cows Fed Flaxseed Produce Healthier Milk
A new study by Oregon State University shows that cows produce milk with more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat when their feed is supplemented with flaxseed. Diets high in saturated fat are linked to high cholesterol and heart disease, while those rich in omega-3 and other polyunsaturated fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Ten pregnant cows at OSU's dairy were fed different amounts of flaxseed – up to seven percent of their daily diet. At six pounds per day, saturated fatty acids in whole milk fat dropped 18 percent, poly-unsaturated fatty acids increased 82 percent, and omega-3 levels rose 70 percent compared to feeding no flaxseed. Similar improvements were observed in butter and cheese.