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The role of bile acids on the growth performance of piglets

As an innovative feed additive, bile acids can not only promote fat digestion and absorption, but also protect the liver and gall. Test results conclude that bile acids could significantly improve the growth performance of piglets, increase the daily weight gain and increase feed intake.

In recent years, the role of bile acids in saving animal energy, promoting growth, improving meat quality and effectively decomposing mycotoxins has been gradually recognised by people. This paper mainly reviews the functions of bile acids on the growth performance of piglets.

Test results show that bile acids could significantly improve the growth performance of piglets and increase the daily weight gain. Photo: Shandong Longchang
Test results show that bile acids could significantly improve the growth performance of piglets and increase the daily weight gain. Photo: Shandong Longchang

The physiological functions of bile acids

Bile acids themselves are a kind of endogenous digestive fluid, which plays the role in the digestion and utilisation of crude fat in feed from the respective of emulsifying fat, activating lipase and transporting fatty acid in the whole process of fat digestion and absorption. As an important signal regulatory molecule, bile acids can regulate the synthesis, metabolism, transportation and energy metabolism of glucose, fatty acid and lipoprotein, which can affect the digestion and utilisation of crude fat, crude protein and energy in feed. In addition, bile acids can affect the secretion of hormones related to animal growth. At the same time, bile acids have the physiological functions of keeping the dynamic balance of cholesterol, protecting the liver and gallbladder, eliminating inflammation and sterilisation, decomposing endotoxin and mycotoxin, and improving animal immunity and carcass quality. These physiological functions are closely related to animal stress, health and growth.

Application of bile acids in piglet feed

The application of bile acids in piglet feed can improve the growth performance of piglets, improve the digestibility of nutrients in the whole intestine of piglets, and affect the secretion of serum related to hormones.

As shown in Table 1, compared with the control group, the final weight of piglets in the test group increased by 7.01%, the daily gain increased by 9.42%, and the FCR decreased by 0.08.

Total intestinal apparent digestibility of nutrients in weaned piglets

As shown in Table 2, compared with the control group, the apparent digestibility of crude protein of weaned piglets in bile acids treatment group tended to increase. The apparent digestibility of crude fat, total energy and dry matter in 80-100 mg / kg bile acid treated group were significantly increased.

Effects of bile acids on serum hormone level in weaned piglets

In Table 3, the serum IGF-I content increased with the increase of bile acids content at 42 days, and 80-120 mg / kg in the experimental group was significantly higher than that in the control group. In addition, the serum INS content increased with the increase of dietary bile acids.

Improved piglet growth performance and increased feed intake

Compared with the control group, the added bile acids in the test group significantly increased the final weight and daily gain of piglets but significantly reduced the FCR; and the test group increased the apparent digestibility of crude protein, and significantly increased the apparent digestibility of crude fat, dry matter and total energy. The level of serum insulin and insulin-like growth factor in piglets was significantly increased. The results showed that bile acids could significantly improve the growth performance of piglets, increase the daily weight gain, reduce the FCR and increase the feed intake, and the results revealed that the mechanism that bile acids could improve the growth performance of piglets was related to the increase of digestibility and utilisation of feed materials and the secretion of hormones related to growth and development of piglets.

Author: Yang Xiaofei