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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2013 Oct;45(7):1477-83. doi: 10.1007/s11250-013-0385-4. Epub 2013 Mar 2.

Effects of high dietary sodium chloride content on performance and sodium and potassium balance in growing pigs.

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Department of Livestock and Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture, National University of Laos, P.O. Box 7322, Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic.


Thirty castrated male Moo Lath pigs (6-8 weeks of age) were used in a 15-week growth trial to study the effect of high dietary sodium chloride (NaCl) content on feed and water intake, performance, sodium (Na) and potassium (K) balance, and plasma aldosterone concentration. The pigs were randomly allocated (ten per treatment) to diets containing 0.24 % Na (Na0.24), 0.28 % Na (Na0.28), and 0.32 % Na (Na0.32) per kg diet. Feed and water was provided ad libitum, and water consumption, feed offered, and feed residues were recorded daily. Every third week, the pigs were weighed, blood samples were collected, and a 3-day total collection of urine and feces was performed. Water intake was higher (P = 0.001) in pigs fed with diets Na0.28 (3.7 L/day) and Na0.32 (3.9 L/day) than in pigs fed with diet Na0.24 (3.4 L/day), and dry matter (DM) intake was higher on diet Na0.32 (P = 0.041) than on the other diets. The average daily body weight (BW) gain was higher on diet Na0.32 than on the other diets (P = 0.031). The feed conversion ratio (in kilogram feed DM to kilogram BW gain) was 4.6, 4.6, and 4.1 on treatments Na0.24, Na0.28, and Na0.32, respectively (P = 0.14). The highest Na balance was observed on diet Na0.32 followed by diets Na0.28 and Na0.24 (P < 0.001), while there was no treatment-related pattern for the K balance. The Na/K ratio in feces and urine increased (P < 0.001), and the K/Na ratio in feces (P < 0.001) decreased with increasing Na content in the diet. Plasma aldosterone concentration decreased (P < 0.001) with increasing dietary content of Na. These results indicate that high NaCl intake and free access to water will increase Na balance but do not negatively influence feed intake and performance of growing local pigs.

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