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Reprod Domest Anim. 2016 Aug;51(4):492-500. doi: 10.1111/rda.12707. Epub 2016 May 13.

Effects of Inulin Supplementation in Low- or High-Fat Diets on Reproductive Performance of Sows and Antioxidant Defence Capacity in Sows and Offspring.

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Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition of the Ministry of Agriculture of China, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, China.


This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of inulin supplementation in low- or high-fat diets on both the reproductive performance of sow and the antioxidant defence capacity in sows and offspring. Sixty Landrace × Yorkshire sows were randomly allocated to four treatments with low-fat diet (L), low-fat diet containing 1.5% inulin (LI), high-fat diet (H) and high-fat diet containing 1.5% inulin (HI). Inulin-rich diets lowered the within-litter birth weight coefficient of variation (CV, p = 0.05) of piglets, increased the proportion of piglets weighing 1.0-1.5 kg at farrowing (p < 0.01), reduced the loss of body weight (BW) and backfat thickness (BF) during lactation (p < 0.05) and decreased the duration of farrowing as well as improved sow constipation (p < 0.05). Sows fed fat-rich diets gained more BW during gestation (p < 0.01), farrowed a greater number of total (+1.65 pigs, p < 0.05) and alive (+1.52 pigs p < 0.05) piglets and had a heavier (+2.06 kg, p < 0.05) litter weight at birth as well as a decreased weaning-to-oestrous interval (WEI, p < 0.01) compared with sows fed low-fat diets. However, it is worth noting that the H diet significantly decreased the serum activities of superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and increased the serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in sows and piglets (p < 0.05). In contrast, HI diet enhanced the activities of T-SOD and GSH-Px and decreased the serum MDA concentrations (p < 0.05) in sows and piglets. In summary, the fat-rich diets fed to sows during gestation had beneficial effects on reproductive performance, but aggravated the oxidative stress in sow and piglets. Inulin-rich diets fed to sow during gestation had beneficial effects on within-litter uniformity of piglet birthweight and enhanced the antioxidant defence capacity of sows and piglets.

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