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J Anim Sci. 2006 Apr;84(4):843-52.

Effects of guar gum and cellulose on digesta passage rate, ileal microbial populations, energy and protein digestibility, and performance of grower pigs.

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Prairie Swine Centre Inc., Saskatoon, SK, S7H 5N9, Canada.


Dietary guar gum and cellulose were studied as purified soluble and insoluble nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) sources, respectively. A control diet containing 14% cornstarch was formulated. A 7% guar gum, a 7% cellulose, and a 7% guar gum + 7% cellulose diet were formulated by adding the NSP to the control diet at the expense of cornstarch (wt/wt), forming a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement. The objectives were to determine whether guar gum and cellulose altered 1) the passage rate of digesta through the small intestine and total tract; 2) the digestibility of energy and CP, characteristics of the digesta, and microbial populations in the ileum; 3) plasma glucose and ghrelin concentrations; and 4) short-term voluntary feed intake and growth performance of grower pigs. In Exp. 1, 12 pigs (27.0 +/- 1.5 kg of BW) were fitted with an ileal T-cannula and were used in a 2-period change-over design, providing 6 observations per diet. Each period included 18 d: a 12-d acclimation period followed by 2-d feces, 3-d digesta, and 1-d venous blood collection periods. In Exp. 1, guar gum and cellulose slowed the passage rate of digesta through the small intestine by 26 and 18%, respectively (P < 0.05). Guar gum increased total tract retention time of the digesta by 14% (P < 0.05). Guar gum and cellulose increased the viscosity of ileal digesta by 72 and 76%, respectively (P < 0.05). Cellulose reduced ileal energy and CP digestibility (P < 0.05), but guar gum only tended to decrease ileal energy digestibility (P < 0.10). Guar gum and cellulose reduced total tract energy and CP digestibility (P < 0.05). At 60 min after feeding, guar gum decreased plasma glucose by 10% (P < 0.10). Guar gum interacted with cellulose to reduce plasma ghrelin before and after feeding (P < 0.05). Guar gum and cellulose interacted to increase ileal bifidobacteria and enterobacteria (P < 0.05); however, guar gum, but not cellulose, increased ileal clostridia (P < 0.05). In Exp. 2, 20 individually housed grower pigs (5 pigs per diet) had free access to the 4 diets used in Exp. 1 for 14 d. Guar gum and cellulose decreased ADG and reduced ADFI on d 0 to 14 (P < 0.05). In summary, increasing purified NSP in the diet reduced the passage rate of digesta, energy and protein digestibility, and feed intake, but increased ileal bifidobacteria and enterobacteria populations. The effects of cellulose were similar to those of guar gum. In conclusion, monitoring of dietary NSP is a critical factor to achieve predictable digestible nutrient intake and intestinal bacterial populations.

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