A summary of feed additives, intestinal health and intestinal alkaline phosphatase in piglet nutrition


Genova J.L., Melo A.D.B., Rupolo P.E., Carvalho S.T., Costa L.B., Carvalho P.L.O. (2020): A summary of feed additives, intestinal health and intestinal alkaline phosphatase in piglet nutrition. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 65: 281–294.

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Weaning is considered the “critical window” in the piglet’s life because it is associated with several stress factors, such as loss of contact with the mother and original litter, solid diet, environmental and structural changes, and the establishment of a new hierarchy. During this abrupt period, several events such as reduced feed intake, high morbidity, susceptibility to enteric infections and post-weaning diarrhoea are observed. The nutritional landscape of the piglet gut is modified, which can compromise the maturity of the gastrointestinal system, the stable intestinal microbiome and the active immunity developed as an indicator of intestinal health. However, with increased awareness of feed safety issues and the development of drug-resistant bacteria, the interest in producing pigs without the use of antimicrobial growth promoters (AGP) is increasing, since long-term use and therapeutic doses of AGP can contribute to the reduction of bacterial diversity and increase of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Thus, the most widely researched alternatives include the use of feed additives, feeding strategies, nutraceuticals/functional foods and available handling that can reduce the risk of IBD beyond basic nutritional functions. Studies have reported intestinal alkaline phosphatase as a new nutritional therapy associated with intestinal health which may be a “key additive” in the AGP replacement. In this review article, the purpose is to show some current aspects of feed additive research, addressing a concept of the “intestinal health” from different points of view and properties of alkaline phosphatase.

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