N-acetylcysteine supplementation may affect somatic cell count in goat milk (short communication)
Abstract. The aim of this study was to estimate an influence of supplementation of exogenous N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on the somatic cell count (SCC, quantified as cells per ml) and chemical composition of goat milk. The study was carried out on 15 goats, in the last part of lactation (220-250 days). The animals were divided into 3 groups according to SCC in their milk: 1st – up to 2×106, 2nd – from 2 to 4×106 and 3rd – above 4×106. The animals were clinically healthy. They were given NAC in the amount of 12 mg/ kg of live body weight per os for 7 days, once a day, during evening milking. Milk yield, as well as fat, protein and lactose contents and SCC were studied three times: 1st – just before starting the experiment, 2nd – after 7 days of NAC application and 3rd – a week after the end of NAC application. The analysis of variance with General Linear Model (GLM) procedure of SAS® package was used. There was observed the significant decrease of SCC after one-week supplementation of NAC and stagnation of SCC after next week in all three groups. The changes of chemical composition of milk were not significant.
The significant decrease of SCC may indicate improvement of health of mammary gland. The oxidation processes might be decreased and probably the increase of immune defence of organism took place. One can suggest that the supplementation of NAC may lead to improvement of goat udder health.