Assessing Intestinal Absorption of Amino Acids Utilizing an Isotope Based Approach

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Virginia Tech


The purpose of this research was to further test a stable isotope based approach as a more reliable in vivo method to determine amino acid bioavailability from a variety of ingredients. The method was used to assess feather meal (FM), blood meal (BM), soybean meal (SBM), and a rumen protected amino acid (RPAA). An abomasal infusion of raw EAAs (isoleucine, leucine and methionine) and an abomasal infusion of sodium caseinate were used as control treatments to test the accuracy of the technique. The isotope-based results were then compared to in situ, in vitro and in vivo test results. The isotope-based technique provided AA bioavailability values for five non-essential AA and seven essential AA. The raw EAA infusion had the greatest AA recovery in plasma with an estimated absorbed RUP value of 93.4± 7.35% followed by the casein infusion (86.7 ± 4.81%), SBM (54.8 ± 5.19%), FM (52.7 ± 4.81%) and BM (47.5 ± 4.81%). The RPAA treatment had the lowest bioavailability at 9.9 ± 12.73%. Numerically, SBM supplied the most absorbable EAA of the 4 feed ingredients, but was not significantly different from that of BM and FM. Simply based on the control treatments in this research (raw EAA and casein), this isotope method was a more accurate method in determining AA bioavailability values with relatively low standard errors. Ingredients are exposed to all aspects of natural digestive processes and the method is able to determine AA appearance in the blood with no use of in situ or in vitro measurements.



Amino acid, isotope, bioavailability, in vivo, cattle