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J Anim Sci. 2008 Sep;86(9):2217-27. doi: 10.2527/jas.2006-062. Epub 2008 Feb 29.

Influence of dietary fiber on luminal environment and morphology in the small and large intestine of sows.

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University of Aarhus, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Health, Welfare and Nutrition, PO Box 50, Research Centre Foulum, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.


In this study, the effect of feeding different types and amounts of dietary fiber (DF) on luminal environment and morphology in the small and large intestine of sows was studied. Three diets, a low-fiber diet (LF) and 2 high-fiber diets (high fiber 1, HF1, and high fiber 2, HF2) were used. Diet LF (DF, 17%; soluble DF 4.6%) was based on wheat and barley, whereas the 2 high-fiber diets (HF1: DF, 43%; soluble DF, 11.0%; and HF2: DF, 45%; soluble DF, 7.6%) were based on wheat and barley supplemented with different coproducts from the vegetable food and agroindustry (HF1 and HF2: sugar beet pulp, potato pulp, and pectin residue; HF2: brewers spent grain, seed residue, and pea hull). The diets were fed for a 4-wk period to 12 sows (4 receiving each diet). Thereafter, the sows were killed 4 h postfeeding, and digesta and tissue samples were collected from various parts of the small and large intestine. The carbohydrates in the LF diet were well digested in the small intestine, resulting in less digesta in all segments of the intestinal tract. The fermentation of nonstarch polysaccharides in the large intestine was affected by the chemical composition and physicochemical properties. The digesta from pigs fed the LF diet provided low levels of fermentable carbohydrates that were depleted in proximal colon, whereas for pigs fed the 2 high-DF diets, the digesta was depleted of fermentable carbohydrates at more distal locations of the colon. The consequence was an increased retention time, greater DM percentage, decreased amount of material, and a decreased tissue weight after feeding the LF diet compared with the HF diets. The concentration of short-chain fatty acids was consistent with the fermentability of carbohydrates in the large intestine, but there was no effect of the dietary composition on the molar short-chain fatty acid proportions. It was further shown that feeding the diet providing the greatest amount of fermentable carbohydrates (diet HF1, which was high in soluble DF) resulted in significant morphological changes in the colon compared with the LF diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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