Water’s role in enzyme activity in the animal gut

18-03-2016 | |
[Photo: Shutterstock]
[Photo: Shutterstock]

Recent scientific studies have shown that, by modifying the properties of water, it is possible to influence the rate of biochemical reactions involved in the process of digestion. Here we share some of these studies done in shrimp.

Feed additives have been one of the leading tools to meet the many challenges of the animal nutrition industry; from reducing feed costs to improving feed efficiency and animal performance. Yet for most additives, the nutritionists are only able to put their finger on one wound at a time. If we take a step back and look at the digestive process as a whole, we see that all the biochemical reactions inside the gut work by ionic exchanges, for which water is essential. Inside the animal’s gut, digestion, absorption and assimilation of the nutrients are mediated by aqueous solutions. Indeed, water molecules play an important role in all enzymatic reactions, especially hydrolysis, taking place during the digestive process.

Activating water molecules to aid an animal’s digestion

During the 20th century, scientists such as Luc Montagnier (Nobel prize winner) have demonstrated that water is able to store and transfer electromagnetic signals. In fact, water structure, due to its hydrogen bonds, can be affected by electromagnetic fields and keep the acquired frequency for extended periods. By acquiring a specific organisation, water molecules are able to affect the rate of the biochemical reactions involved in the digestive process. Based on this new discovery, animal nutrition company Ceresco Nutrition (Quebec, Canada) has developed a proprietary technology capable of transferring specific biological frequencies to the animal’s digestive system by using crystalline silicon dioxide as a carrier, thus increasing the rate of enzymatic reactions that occur in the gut. This new kind of activated mineral is called Silica+. Somewhat similar to the principle behind a microwave oven, an electromagnetic field will agitate water molecules using a particular wavelength. The difference between this technology and the microwave is the type of frequency and its intensity. It will not heat the water, but will make the molecules move in a coherent way, becoming more agile or “activated” and organised. The activated mineral (Silica+) has been tested in aquaculture, swine and poultry by several research institutes in different parts of the world and has been shown to have a significant, positive effect on animal growth performances.

New solution to improve enzymatic activity 
and reduce fish meal

A study, conducted at the Prince of Songkla University (Thailand) and supervised by Dr Wutiporn Phromkunthong, revealed that this activated mineral (at an inclusion rate as low as 200 ppm) can help reduce fish meal from 15% to 7.5% in a shrimp diet (Litopenaeus Vannamei). Furthermore, in  both diets, 7.5% and a 15% fish meal, a significant difference was observed between the experiment and control groups in terms of average daily weight gain (+14.5% and +12.5% respectively), final body weight (+5.8% and +7.4% respectively), and feed conversion ratio (-9.4% and -14.7% respectively) (Figure 1).“The elevation of the protein utilisation ratio and the protease activity in the gut of the shrimp on diets supplemented with this mineral suggest that this product enhances protein digestion,” explained Dr Phromkunthong (Figure 2). “So adding this mineral to feed will contribute to better growth performance and feed utilisation.” A second study conducted on the same shrimp species at the Guangdong Ocean Uni-versity research facility in Guangdong Province (China) confirmed that the mineral helped to reduce the quantity of fish meal from 25% to 15%, while maintaining the same growth in shrimp. On a 15% fish meal diet, the mineral significantly improved the specific growth rate of shrimp, compared with groups receiving the treatment without the mineral (Figure 3). It also allowed a better feed conversion rate by 0.20 pts.

Conclusion: Improving protein digestibility

This scientific data shows that this activated mineral provides a new solution to improve protein digestibility and reduce fish meal in the diet of shrimp. By modifying water’s properties, electromagnetic fields can contribute to increasing enzymatic reactions in the gut of the animal. The evolution of this technology will be of particular interest to research companies in the years to come.


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