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J Anim Sci. 2018 Sep 29;96(10):4173-4185. doi: 10.1093/jas/sky293.

Effects of zinc amino acid complex on biomarkers of gut integrity and metabolism during and following heat stress or feed restriction in pigs.

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Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA.
Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
Zinpro Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN.


Study objectives were to determine the effects of zinc (Zn) amino acid complex (Availa Zn, Zinpro Corporation, Eden Prairie, MN) on metabolism, biomarkers of leaky gut, and inflammation during and following heat stress (HS) and nutrient restriction. Crossbred gilts (n = 50; 50 ± 2 kg BW) were blocked by initial BW and randomly assigned to one of five treatments: 1) thermoneutral (TN) and ad libitum fed a control diet (TNCtl), 2) TN and pair-fed a control diet (PFCtl), 3) TN and pair-fed a Zn-supplemented diet (PFZn), 4) HS and ad libitum fed a control diet (HSCtl), and 5) HS and ad libitum fed a Zn-supplemented diet (HSZn). The study consisted of 3 experimental periods (P): during P1 (7 d), all pigs were fed their respective diets ad libitum and housed in TN conditions (20.84 ± 0.03 °C, 47.11 ± 0.42% relative humidity). During P2 (7 d), HSCtl and HSZn pigs were exposed to progressive cyclical HS conditions (27 to 30 °C, 41.9 ± 0.5% relative humidity), while TNCtl, PFCtl, and PFZn pigs remained in TN conditions and were fed ad libitum or pair-fed to their respective HSCtl and HSZn counterparts. During P3 (5 d; "recovery phase"), all pigs were housed in TN conditions and fed ad libitum. Pigs exposed to HS had overall increased rectal temperature, skin temperature, and respiration rate (0.33 °C, 3.76 °C, and 27 bpm, respectively; P < 0.01). Relative to TN controls, HS decreased ADFI and ADG (28 and 35%, respectively; P < 0.05), but these variables were unaffected by dietary treatment. Additionally, circulating insulin did not differ between HS and TN pigs (P = 0.41), but was decreased in PF relative to TN pigs (P < 0.01). During recovery, no differences were observed in rectal temperature or respiration rate across treatments, but HSZn pigs had decreased skin temperature relative to TN, PF, and HSCtl pigs (P < 0.01). During P3, no Zn effects were observed in production parameters; however, PF pigs had increased ADFI and ADG relative to TN and HS treatments (P < 0.01). During P3, circulating insulin was increased in pigs that were HS relative to TN and PF pigs (75%, P < 0.05). Interestingly, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) levels were decreased during P3 (P = 0.04) in Zn relative to Ctl-fed pigs. Circulating lipopolysaccharide-binding protein was not different among periods (P > 0.10). In summary, Zn reduced TNFα (regardless of HS), and the stimulatory effect of HS on insulin secretion is amplified during HS recovery.

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