Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Gustavo Lascano

Committee Member

Dr. Matias Aguerre

Committee Member

Dr. William Bridges


Caffeine is commonly known as a potent bioactive compound. This molecule plays an essential role in plants' defense. Because of its antimicrobial activity, caffeine has been cataloged as a toxic component for microbes by targeting DNA repair mechanisms and suppressing microbial proliferation. Nowadays, the caffeine action to enhance mixed microbial cultures digestion has captured the attention of researchers.

In ruminants, the inhibition of ruminal methanogenesis has been deeply studied to enhance rumen fermentation to increment metabolizable energy. In dairy cows, methane production represents a loss of 6.0 ± 1.18% of the energy intake (Niu et al., 2018), reducing the metabolizable energy produced from the total feed energy intake. However, the action of other plant secondary metabolites have been shown to enhance rumen fermentation, nitrogen metabolism, decrease methane production, and improve animal productivity and health (Kamra et al., 2006; Rochfort et al., 2008). But the diversity of the composition of these molecules in nature has challenged the determination of which component would be better as an additive to enhance rumen fermentation. However, the same caffeine molecule has been found in a diversity of plants due to convergent evolution. Caffeine may be a potential alternative additive in ruminants due to its natural bioactivity and composition.

The present thesis determined the effects of caffeine doses on rumen fermentation profile and nutrient digestibility when dual continuous culture fermenters were fed with lactating cows' diet. Caffeine has been shown to decrease DM, OM, and starch digestibility linearly, while A:P ratios tended to decrease linearly.



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