Oral supplementations of betaine, choline, creatine and vitamin B6 and their influence on the development of homocysteinaemia in neonatal piglets.

Côté-Robitaille, M.-E., Girard, C.L., Guay, F., and Matte, J.J. (2015). "Oral supplementations of betaine, choline, creatine and vitamin B6 and their influence on the development of homocysteinaemia in neonatal piglets.", Journal of Nutritional Science, 4(e 31), pp. 1-7. doi : 10.1017/jns.2015.19  Access to full text

Abstract

Homocysteine (Hcy) is an intermediary sulphur amino acid recognised for pro-oxidative properties in several species which may weaken immune competence in piglets. In this species, there is an acute 10-fold increase of concentrations of plasma Hcy (pHcy) during the first 2 weeks of life. The present experiment aimed to determine if pHcy in piglets can be regulated by oral supplementations of betaine as a methyl group supplier, creatine for reducing the demand for methyl groups, choline with both previous functions and vitamin B6 as enzymic co-factor for Hcy catabolism. A total of seventeen sows (second parity) were fed gestation and lactation diets supplemented with folic acid (10 mg/kg) and vitamin B12 (150 µg/kg). Eight piglets in each litter received daily one of the eight following oral treatments (mg/kg body weight): (1) control (saline); (2) betaine (50); (3) choline (70); (4) creatine (300); (5) pyridoxine (0·2); (6) treatments 2 and 5; (7) treatments 3 and 4; and (8) treatments 2, 3, 4 and 5. According to age, pHcy increased sharply from 2·48 µM at birth to 17·96 µM at 21 d of age (P < 0·01). Concentrations of pHcy tended to be lower (P = 0·09) in treated than in control piglets but the highest and sole pairwise significant decrease (23 %) was observed between treatments 1 and 8 (P = 0·03). Growth from birth to 21 d of age was not influenced by treatments (P > 0·70). Therefore, it appears possible to reduce pHcy concentrations in suckling piglets but a combination of all chosen nutrients is required.

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