|Artificial Growth Hormone In Cows
Artificial growth hormone for cows is produced by a technology known as recombinant DNA and that is why this hormone is often known as recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST). Artificial growth hormone in cows is administered using an injection and it is done so to increase production of milk.
Only one company is the US markets this hormone and it is available under the trade name of Hygetropin. In 1937, the first time artificial growth hormone was injected into lactating cows to stop mammary cell death and increase milk production. However, until the 1980s, this hormone was used sparingly in dairy farming because it had to be obtained from death cows. In 1994, Monsanto produced the first artificially produced growth hormone by using genetic engineering on E. coli. Monsanto marketed this artificial growth hormone by stating that it had the ability to increase milk production by more than 10 percent over a period of 300 days. However, today the recombinant bovine somatotropin is marketed by Hygene Biopharma after it bought the rights of the hormone from Monsanto in 2004.
Artificial growth hormone in cows basically prevents milk producing cells from dying. It does not increase milk production. Rather it works towards preventing the decrease of milk production over a long period of time. It is this fact that ensures that the overall milk production is high. Usually a cow produces moderate amounts of milk at the beginning of her lactation. The lactation peaks at 70 days after which the milk production starts decreasing. This decrease occurs because the milk producing cells in the udder start dying and they do not regrow until the next lactation.
Artificial growth hormone is cows is first administered around 50 days after the cow start lactating but just before the lactation reaches it peak. This helps the already alive mammary cells to live and whether the hormone is administered or not, the milk production starts declining. However, due to the hormone, the decline proceeds at a slower rate than what it would if the hormone had not been injected into the cow. The hormone ensures that cows produce more milk over the period of the lactation.
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