Veterinary Research Communications

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Associations among milk production traits and glycosylated haemoglobin in dairy cattle; importance of lactose synthesis potential

  • Homayon Reza Shahbazkia
  • Mahmoud Aminlari
  • Atoosa Tavasoli
  • Ahmad Reza Mohamadnia
  • Alfredo Cravador
Original Article


Glucose is the major precursor of lactose synthesis in the mammary gland. Lactose the major carbohydrate and osmolyte of milk, controls milk volume and its concentration. Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbG) is a retrospective measure of mean blood glucose level and it is largely unaffected by recent physiological conditions and environmental events. The purposes of this study were to determine the correlations between lactose traits and other milk production traits in dairy cattle and to investigate whether HbG level can be correlated with milk and lactose production traits. Here, HbG percentage, milk and lactose production traits including milk yield, lactose, protein, SNF, total solid and fat percentages and yields were measured in 485 second calved Iranian Holstein cattle. Statistically significant negative correlations were established between HbG and milk yield (r = −0.88), lactose yield (r = −0.83), SNF yield (r = −0.81), protein yield (r = −0.79) and total solid yield (r = −0.74). Positive correlations were established between lactose yield and milk (r = 0.96), protein (r = 0.81), SNF (r = 0.92) and total solid (r = 0.79) yields. The negative correlation between HbG and milk and total lactose production is probably related to the higher glucose demands in the lactating mammary gland of more productive cows. The positive correlation between lactose yield and milk, protein, SNF and total solid yield indicates that the level of lactose synthesis influences milk production traits in ways other than merely via its osmolytic action.


Glycosylated haemoglobin Milk production traits Lactose synthesis Dairy cattle 



We acknowledge the Ghiam Dairy Co. and its management team for facilitating this study and for providing technical support for sampling, milk and herd history analysis. This research was jointly supported by grant number 87-GR-VT-11, Shiraz University Research Council and by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) and Shahrekord University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Homayon Reza Shahbazkia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mahmoud Aminlari
    • 3
  • Atoosa Tavasoli
    • 1
  • Ahmad Reza Mohamadnia
    • 4
  • Alfredo Cravador
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia (FCT)Universidade do AlgarveFaroPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineShahrekord UniversityShahrekordIran
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, School of Veterinary MedicineShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary MedicineShahrekord UniversityShahrekordIran
  5. 5.Vila RealPortugal

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