Steffen Adler

Research Scientist

(+47) 404 82 199
steffen.adler@nibio.no

Place
Tingvoll

Visiting address
Gunnars vei 6, NO-6630 Tingvoll

Abstract

The aim of the research project is to gain new knowledge about local production of protein feed for monogastric animals in organic farming, deriving from forage legumes. New knowledge will contribute to strengthen the agricultural sector in Europe as a whole, by improved utilisation of biological resources and competency on local food systems.

Abstract

Large areas of farmland are abandoned in Norway, which for various reasons are regarded as undesirable. Loss of farmlandmay have negative implications for biodiversity and ecosystem function and food production potential. The objectives of this study were to assess forage mass production and utilization, botanical composition, lamb performance, and grazing distribution pattern when reintroducing livestock grazing to an abandoned grassland. The study area was located in Central Norway, unmanaged for 12 years. Sheep grazed the area for 10 weeks in 2013 and 4 weeks in spring and autumn, respectively, in 2014 and 2015. During the summer of 2014 and 2015, the area was subjected to the following replicated treatments: (1) No grazing, (2) grazing with heifers, and (3) grazing with ewes and their offspring. The stocking rate was similar in the grazed treatments. Forage biomass production and animal intake were estimated using grazing exclosure cages and botanical composition by visual assessment. Effect on lamb performance was evaluated by live weight gain and slaughter traits in sheep subjected to three treatments: (1) Common farm procedure with summer range pasturing, (2) spring grazing period extended by 1 month on the abandoned grassland before summer range pasturing, and (3) spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland. Grazing distribution patterns were studied using GPS position collars on ewes. Total annual biomass production was on average 72% higher with summer grazing than without. Annual consumption and utilization was on average 218 g DM/m2 and 70% when summer grazed, and 25 g DM/m2 and 18% without grazing, respectively. Botanical composition did not differ between treatments. Live weight gain was higher in lambs subjected to an extended spring grazing period (255 g/d) compared to common farm practice (228 g/d) and spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland (203 g/d), and carcass value was 14% higher in lambs on extended spring grazing compared to common farm practice. In autumn, sheep preferred to graze areas grazed by sheep during summer. Re-introduction of grazing stimulated forage production, and extended spring grazing improved performance in lambs. This study has quantified the value of abandoned grassland as a feed resource.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

Abstract

Large areas of cultivated grassland are annually abandoned and no longer used for production in Norway. Such areas will over time be encroached by shrubs and trees, which is regarded as undesirable. We assessed plant community development, pasture production, herbage quality and pasture utilization by sheep and heifers of a grassland that has been unmanaged for 12 years. e experiment was run for two consecutive years. Sheep grazed the whole area for one month in spring and autumn. During the summer, the area was assigned to three replicated treatments: (1) control with no management; (2) grazing heifers; and (3) grazing sheep with off€spring. The stocking rate was 1.8 LU ha-1, in both b and c, for a duration of one month. The area was left resting for a month aer treatment and before autumn sheep grazing. Pasture production and herbage intake was estimated using grazing exclosure cages. Herbage consumed during summer period was on average 211 g DM m-2 and the pasture utilization was 55%. The annual consumption and utilization was 336 g DM m-2 and 62% in the grazed treatments and 28 g DM m-2 and 15% in the control, respectively. Total annual pasture production was on average 72% higher in the grazed treatments compared to the control. Tere was no diff€erence between the grazed treatments on annual production, herbage intake or pasture utilization. Grazing stimulated herbage production, and such abandoned grasslands are valuable forage resources.

Abstract

A meta-analysis based on experiments in organically cultivated grasslands in Norway was conducted to quantify the effects of management factors on herbage yield and feed quality. A dataset was collected that included 496 treatment means from experiments in five studies carried out at eight locations with the latitude range of 58.8 to 69.6 N between 1993 and 2010. We tested the effect of harvesting system (two vs. Three cuts annually), plant developmental stage at the first cut, growth period (temperature sum) and the herbage clover proportion. Plant maturity at the first cut and herbage clover proportion explained to a large extent herbage yield and quality of the first cut and annual yield. The timing of the first cut influenced also the yield and herbage quality of the second cut. The analysis confirmed the importance of legumes performance for herbage yield and quality from grasslands in organic production. Estimated annual herbage DM yield harvested at standardized plant development stage and at average clover proportion was 9%higher in the two—compared to the three-cut system. The crude protein concentration and in vitro dry matter digestibility was 17 and 3 % higher and the NDF concentration 7 % lower in the annual herbage from the three-cut than from the twocut system, respectively. The empirical equations developed in this study may be applied to explore different options for grassland management as basis for ration and production planning and in scenario analysis of economic performance of individual and model farms. The equations do also reveal in numeric terms the tradeoffs in management practice between high yields, yield digestibility, NDF and crude protein content in organic forage production relying on red clover N2 fixation as the engine in the system.

Abstract

Three types of analytical methods currently used in the practice of analytical laboratories for quality control and food safety - local, regional and international. The quality of products intended for export to other countries is determined by the regional and international practices. This report summarizes the international methods used by the National Center for Quality Control and Food Safety Republican Unitary Enterprise “Scientific and Practical Center for Foodstuffs of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus”

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Abstract

Phytoestrogens have structures similar to endogenous steroids and may induce or inhibit the response of hormone receptors. The objectives of the present study were to compare the effects of long-term vs. short-term grassland management in organic and conventional dairy production systems, compare organic and conventional production systems and assess seasonal variation on phytoestrogen concentrations in bulk-tank milk. The concentrations of phytoestrogens were analyzed in bulk-tank milk sampled three times in two subsequent years from 28 dairy farms: Fourteen organic (ORG) dairy farms with either short-term or long-term grassland management were paired with 14 conventional (CON)farms with respect to grassland management. Grassland management varied in terms of time since establishment. Short-term grassland management (SG) was defined as establishment or reseeding every fourth year or more often, and long-term grassland management (LG) was defined as less frequent establishment or reseeding. The proportion of red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) in the herbage was positively correlated with milk concentrations of the mammalian isoflavone equol. Therefore, organically produced bulk-tank milk contained more equol than conventionally produced milk, and milk from ORG-SG farms had more equol than milk from ORG-LG farms. Milk produced during the indoor-feeding periods had more equol than milk produced during the outdoor feeding period, because pastures contained less red clover than fields intended for silage production. Organically produced milk had also higher concentrations of the mammalian lignan enterolactone, but in contrast to equol, concentrations increased in the outdoor-feeding periods compared to the indoor-feeding periods. There were no indications of ertility problems on ORG-SG farms who had the highest red clover proportions in the herbage. This study shows that Production system, grassland management, and season affect milk concentrations of phytoestrogens. However, compared to soy products, milk concentrations of phytoestrogens are low and future studies are required to investigate if the intake of phytoestrogens from dairy products has physiological effects in humans.

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Abstract

Dietary phytoestrogens are metabolized or converted in the gastrointestinal tract of ruminants, only limited knowledge exists on the extent and location of this conversion in vivo. The objective of this study was to quantify the gastro-intestinal metabolism of phytoestrogens in lactating dairy cows fed silages with different botanical composition. Four lactating rumen cannulated Norwegian Red cattle were assigned to a 4 × 4 Latin square with 1 cow per treatment period of 3 wk. The 4 treatment silages were prepared from grasslands with different botanical compositions: organically managed short-term timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) ley (2 yr old: ORG-SG); organically managed long-term grassland with a high proportion of unsown species (6 yr old; ORG-LG); conventionally managed perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) ley (CON-PR); and conventionally managed timothy ley (CON-TI). The herbages were cut, wilted, and preserved with additive in round bales, fed as a mix of the first and third cut at 90% of ad libitum intake, and contributed to 70% of the total dry matter intake. Milk, feed, omasal digesta, urine, and feces were collected at the end of each period and analyzed for the concentrations of phytoestrogens by using a liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry technique. Concentration of total isoflavones was highest in ORG-SG and lowest in CON-TI silage, whereas the content of total lignans was highest in the grass silages. The isoflavones were extensively metabolized in the rumen on all diets, and the recovery of formononetin and daidzein in omasum, mainly as equol, averaged 0.11 mg/mg. The apparent intestinal metabolism was less severe as, on average, 0.29 mg/mg of the omasal flow was recovered in feces. The plant lignans were also strongly degraded in the rumen. However, the flow of lignans to omasum and excretion in feces were, on average, 7.2- and 5.2-fold higher, respectively, than the intake of the plant lignans matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol, known as precursors of mammalian lignans. Thus, excretion to milk could not be directly related to intake, implying that plant lignans other than matairesinol and secoisolariciresinol in forage are precursors for enterolactone production in the rumen and for its content in milk. Equol followed mainly the flow of large particles out of the rumen, whereas the mammalian lignans were distributed between phases proportional to dry matter flow. The main metabolism of phytoestrogens occurred in the rumen and the main route of excretion was through feces and urine, with only a small part being excreted in milk. The concentration of phytoestrogens in milk can be manipulated through intake but the intermediate transfer capacity to milk appears to be limited by saturation

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Abstract

Phyto-oestrogens are a group of secondary plant metabolites that may bind to oestrogen receptors and exert oestrogenic or anti-oestrogenic effects in humans and can protect against cancer diseases. When ingested by dairy cows, phyto-oestrogens can be metabolised and transferred to the milk. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of grazing a recently established pasture containing red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and an older pasture containing a variety of sown and unsown plant species on milk concentrations of phyto-oestrogens. Sixteen Norwegian Red dairy cows [mean (standard deviation); body weight 599 (45.1) kg, stage of lactation 73 (15.0) d in milk, milk yield 29.9 (2.90) kg/d at the start of the experiment] were divided into two groups and grazed either a short-term pasture (SP) or a long-term pasture (LP). The SP was representative of organically managed leys in Norway, which are frequently, approximately every third year, renewed by soil tillage and seeding, whereas LP was representative of organically managed grasslands that are less frequently renewed. The SP contained meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.) (mean 34%), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) (mean 19%), red clover (mean 28%), shepherd׳s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medik.) (mean 6%), pineappleweed (Matricaria matricarioides Porter ex Britton) (mean 5%) and scentless mayweed (Tripleurospermum perforatum (Mérat) Laínz) (mean 4%), and LP contained mainly white clover (Trifolium repens L.) (mean 21%), smooth meadowgrass (Poa pratensis L.) (mean 19%), timothy (mean 17%), meadow fescue (mean 15%), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) (mean 6%), tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa (L.) P. Beauv.) (mean 5%), northern dock (Rumex longifolius DC.) (mean 4%), common couch (Elytrigia repens (L.) Desv. Ex Nevski) (mean 4%), red clover (mean 3%) and dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) (mean 3%). In addition to a daily pasture allowance of 20 kg dry matter per cow, supplements of 3.0 kg barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate were fed. Herbage, concentrates and milk was sampled during the last week of three experimental periods and analysed for phyto-oestrogens using LC-MS/MS technology. Herbage from SP had 19 times higher concentration of isoflavones than herbage from LP, whereas only small differences were found for lignans. Milk produced on SP had 14 times higher concentrations of the mammalian isoflavonoid equol, and the concentrations of equol were higher than found in most other studies. This study confirms that grazing pastures containing red clover increases concentrations of isoflavones and especially equol in bovine milk compared to grazing pastures with other botanical composition. The higher milk concentrations of the lignan metabolite enterodiol in milk from SP compared to LP could not be related to differences in intake of the analysed lignans and may therefore be related to unidentified lignans.

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Abstract

Bulk tank milk from 28 dairy farms was sampled every second month for 2 yr to assess the effects of grassland management, production system and season on milk fatty acid (FA) composition, concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins, Se, and milk sensory quality. Grassland management varied in terms of time since establishment. Short-term grassland management (SG) was defined as establishment or reseeding every fourth year or more often, and long-term grassland management (LG) was defined as less frequent establishment or reseeding. Fourteen organic (ORG) dairy farms with either short-term or long-term grassland management were paired with 14 conventional (CON) farms with respect to grassland management. Within ORG farms, SG farms differed from LG farms in herbage botanical composition, but not in concentrate FA concentrations, dry matter intake, or milk yield. Within CON farms, herbage composition, concentrate FA concentrations, dry matter intake, and milk yield showed no or insignificant variations. The ORG farms differed from CON farms in herbage botanical composition, concentrate FA concentrations, concentrate intake, and milk yield. Compared with ORG-LG farms, ORG-SG farms produced milk fat with higher proportions of C10:0 and C12:0 associated with higher herbage proportions of legumes (Fabaceae) and lower proportions of other dicotyledon families. Compared with milk from CON farms, milk fat from ORG farms had higher proportions of most saturated FA and all n-3 FA, but lower proportions of C18:0 and C18:1 cis-9 associated with higher forage proportion and differences in concentrations of FA in concentrates. Compared with the outdoor-feeding periods, the indoor feeding periods yielded milk fat with higher proportions of most short-chain and medium-chain FA and lower proportions of most C18-FA associated with grazing and higher forage proportions. Milk concentrations of α-tocopherol and β-carotene were lower during the grazing periods. Inclusion of fishmeal in organic concentrates may explain higher Se concentrations in organically produced milk. Milk sensory quality was not affected in this study. In conclusion, grassland management had minor effects on milk composition, and differences between ORG farms and CON farms may be explained by differences in concentrate intake and concentrate FA concentrations. Milk produced on ORG farms versus CON farms and milk produced during the outdoor versus indoor feeding periods had potential health benefits due to FA composition. In contrast, the higher milk-fat proportions of saturated FA in milk from ORG farms may be perceived as negative for human health.

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Abstract

Ruminal biohydrogenation and transfer of fatty acids (FA) to milk were determined for 4 silages with different botanical compositions using 4 multiparous Norwegian Red dairy cows [(mean ± SD) 118±40.9d in milk, 22.5±2.72kg of milk/d, 631±3.3kg of body weight, 3.3±0.40 points on body condition score at the start of the experiment] fitted with rumen cannulas. Treatments consisted of 4 experimental silages: a mix of the first and third cut of organically managed short-term grassland with timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover (Trifolium pratense L.; 2 yr old; ORG-SG); organically managed long-term grassland with a high proportion of unsown species (6 yr old; ORG-LG); conventionally managed ley with perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.; CON-PR); and conventionally managed ley with timothy (CON-TI). The herbages were cut, wilted, and preserved with additive in round bales and fed at 0.90 of ad libitum intake. A barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate constituted 300g/kg of dry matter of the total feed offered. A Latin square design (4×4) with 3-wk periods and the last week in each period used for sampling was implemented. Omasal flows of FA were measured using Yb acetate, Cr-EDTA, and the indigestible neutral detergent fiber fraction as indigestible markers. The composition of FA was analyzed in feed, omasal digesta, and milk. Compared with ORG-LG, ORG-SG had a higher herbage proportion of red clover (0.36 vs. 0.01) and lower proportions of timothy (0.42 vs. 0.18), smooth meadowgrass (Poa pratensis L.), meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), white clover (Trifolium repens L.), dandelion (Taraxacum spp.), and creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens L.). The silages were well preserved. The concentration of neutral detergent fiber was higher and the concentration of Kjeldahl-N was lower for CON-TI than for the other silages. Silage type had no effect on dry matter intake, but milk yield was lower for CON-TI than for the other silages. Apparent biohydrogenation of C18:3n-3 was lower for ORG-SG (932g/kg) than for ORG-LG (956g/kg), CON-PR (959g/kg), and CON-TI (958g/kg). Compared with the grass-based silages, ORG-SG and ORG-LG resulted in higher omasal flows of C18:1 trans FA and higher milk fat proportions of C18:1 trans FA and C18:2 cis-9,trans-11. Apparent recovery of C18:3n-3 in milk was higher for ORG-SG (61g/kg) than for ORG-LG (33g/kg), CON-PR (34g/kg), and CON-TI (38g/kg), and milk fat proportion of C18:3n-3 was higher for ORG-SG than for CON-TI. Milk fat proportions of C16:0 were lower for ORG-SG and ORG-LG compared with those for CON-PR and CON-TI. It was concluded that high proportions of red clover and other dicotyledons in the silages affected ruminal biohydrogenation and increased milk fat proportions of beneficial FA.

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that grazing pastures compared to feeding preserved forages has large impact on milk fatty acid (FA) composition, but differences between grazing red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) or white clover (Trifolium repens L.) are small, whereas the herbage proportions of dicotyledon botanical families is positively correlated with the milk-fat proportions of total polyunsaturated FA when grazing pastures in the Alps. The objective of the present study was to investigate the influence of botanically different pastures on bovine milk composition and milk susceptibility to oxidation. Two groups of 8 multiparous Norwegian Red dairy cows [mean (standard deviation); 599 (45.1)kg body weight, 73 (15.0)d in milk, 29.9 (2.90)kg milk/d at experiment start] grazed either a short-term pasture (SP) or a long-term pasture (LP). Both pastures were organically managed, meaning that no artificial fertilizers or herbicides were applied. The SP was representative for pastures, which are frequently, i.e. at least every third year, renewed by soil tillage and seeding, whereas LP was representative for pastures, which are less frequently renewed. The SP contained mainly meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis Huds.), timothy (Phleum pratense L.) and red clover and LP contained smooth meadow grass (Poa pratensis L.), white clover and a variety of unsown species. Sixteen cows were blocked according to milk yield, days in milk and sire, and randomly within block allocated to the 2 dietary treatments with a daily pasture allowance of 15–20kg dry matter per cow, supplemented with 3.0kg barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) concentrate. Milk was sampled during the last week of 3 experimental periods and analysed for FA composition by gas chromatography, concentrations of fat-soluble vitamins by high performance liquid chromatography, and oxidative stability in a light-exposure experiment by measuring the formation of hydroperoxides and by front-face fluorescence spectroscopy. Pasture type had no effect on milk yield, milk gross composition, and only minor effects on milk FA composition. Milk from SP had higher concentration of α-tocopherol than LP. The formation of hydroperoxides in milk was lower for SP than LP after 24h light exposure, but no differences were found after 48h. Front-face fluorescence spectroscopy revealed slightly higher formation of components in the area of 409–480nm wavelength for SP than LP, which may be related to milk-lipid oxidation. The experimental pastures differed mainly in herbage proportions of red clover and white clover and less in proportions of non-legume dicotyledons. This explains small differences in milk FA composition and milk susceptibility to oxidation.

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Abstract

Two feeding experiments were performed to study the effects of silage botanical composition, regrowth interval and α-tocopherol supplementation on the fatty acid (FA) composition and α-tocopherol, β-carotene and retinol concentrations of milk. In Exp. 1, 24 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed two- or three-cut red clover–grass silages (R2 and R3, respectively) or two-cut birdsfoot trefoil–grass silage (B2). In Exp. 2, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover (S3) or long-term ley silage with white clover (L3) in combination with the supplementation of RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate (1600 mg/day). The FA proportions in the milk and the recoveries of C18:2n-6 and C18:3n-3 were higher on the red clover diets R2 and S3 than on B2 and L3, respectively, and the n-6/n-3 FA ratio was also higher on the red clover diets. Shorter regrowth interval increased both the concentrations of FA in silage and the proportions of unsaturated FA in milk. Intakes of α-tocopherol, β-carotene and lutein were higher on B2 than on R2 due to higher silage intake on B2. However, the highest intake was seen on diet R3 due to the higher concentrations in the silage mixture. In Exp. 2, intakes of α-tocopherol, β-carotene and lutein were higher on L3. However, not all of these differences affected the milk, since the only significant differences related to silage diet in the two experiments were a higher milk α-tocopherol concentration on L3 than on S3 and a slightly lower β-carotene concentration on B2 than on R2. Supplementation with α-tocopherol increased milk α-tocopherol concentrations from 0.77 to 1.05 and from 1.07 to 1.24 mg/kg milk for S3 and L3, respectively, but did not affect milk FA composition. A higher concentration of antioxidants in the feed could be beneficial as a larger proportion of the animal's vitamin requirements would be met by the forage and the need for supplementation might decrease.

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Abstract

Phytoestrogens are hormone-like substances in plants that can substantially influence human health (positively or negatively), and when fed to dairy cows are transferred to their milk. The aim of this study was to investigate effects of varying the botanical composition and regrowth interval of legume-grass silage on silage and phytoestrogen intake and milk phytoestrogen concentrations. In one experiment, 15 Swedish Red dairy cows were fed two- or three-cut red clover-grass silage (designated R2 and R3, respectively), or two-cut birdsfoot trefoil-grass silage (B2). In a second experiment, 16 Norwegian Red dairy cows were fed short-term ley silage with red clover (S3) or long-term ley silage with white clover (L3), and the effects of supplementation with α-tocopherol were also tested. There were high concentrations of formononetin and biochanin A in all silage mixtures with red clover (R2, R3, and S3). The milk concentration of equol was highest on diet R2 (1,494 μg/kg milk). Due to metabolism of biochanin A, genistein and prunetin, their concentrations in milk and the apparent recovery were low. Coumestrol was only detected in silage mixtures S3 and L3, and its milk concentration was low. Concentrations of secoisolariciresinol and matairesinol were higher in silage mixtures B2 and L3, those with legume species other than red clover and the highest grass proportions. B2 also resulted in higher enterolactone concentration than the other diets (226 μg/kg milk). Lengthening the regrowth interval increased the intake of secoisolariciresinol and decreased recovery of lignans. Feeding long-term ley silage resulted in higher lignan milk concentrations, but lower isoflavone milk concentrations than feeding short-term ley silage. The apparent recovery of all phytoestrogens except prunetin was highest on B2, indicating that condensed tannins (present in the birdsfoot trefoil) affect rumen metabolism. There was no effect of α-tocopherol supplementation on milk concentrations of any of the measured phytoestrogens. There were variations in milk concentrations of phytoestrogens, especially of equol, among cows, which could not be explained by variations in diet composition or phytoestrogen intake. The results show that milk phytoestrogen concentration is strongly influenced by silage botanical composition and management, but questions regarding phytoestrogen metabolism remain to be answered.