Apparent total tract digestibility of dietary calcium and phosphorus and their efficiency in bone mineral retention are affected by body mineral status in growing pigs.

Létourneau-Montminy, M.-P., Lovatto, P.A., and Pomar, C. (2014). "Apparent total tract digestibility of dietary calcium and phosphorus and their efficiency in bone mineral retention are affected by body mineral status in growing pigs.", Journal of Animal Science, 92(9), pp. 3914-3924. doi : 10.2527/jas.2013-7320  Access to full text

Abstract

Improving dietary P utilization without modifying pig performance is crucial for production sustainability. A feeding program comprising three 28-d phases (20 to 40, 40 to 70, and 70 to 100 kg) was used to feed 72 pigs with an initial BW of 20 kg. The ability of the pigs to modify the digestive and metabolic utilization of P when fed either a control (CON) diet or a low-P (LOW) diet providing 40% less digestible P with a constant Ca:digestible P was studied using different sequences of dietary P and Ca restriction (i.e., depletion [LOW]) and recovery (i.e., repletion [CON]), namely CON-CON-CON, CON-CON-LOW, CON-LOW-LOW, LOW-CON-CON, LOW-LOW-CON, and LOW-LOW-LOW. Bone mineral content (BMC) was measured in the lumbar region (L2–L4) by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry at the beginning and end of each feeding phase. Total feces and urine were collected during phases 2 and 3. At the end of phase 1, BMC was lower in the LOW pigs than in the C pigs (29%; P < 0.001). During phase 2, the BMC gain was greater in the LOW-CON pigs than in the CON-CON pigs (16%; P < 0.001). During phase 3, the LOW-LOW-CON pigs absorbed 26% more Ca (P < 0.001) and retained 56% more BMC (P < 0.001) than the CON-CON-CON pigs did. Digestive and metabolic adaptations allowed the LOW-LOW-CON and LOW-CON-CON pigs to reach BMC similar to that of the CON-CON-CON pigs. These metabolic adaptations are promising, but practical applications of these results requires a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms to fine-tune the degree of depletion, pig age, and the duration of P and Ca depletion and repletion periods.

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