Interpretive Summary: Effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone supplementation on growth performance and small intestine characteristics in weaned pigs.
By: Anne Wallace
Pigs can suffer from diarrhea and detrimental changes to their gastrointestinal (GI) tract due to stress during the post-weaning period. Finding effective ways to deal with the GI effects of post-weaning stress is therefore critical in optimizing performance. In this research study published in the January 2019 Journal of Animal Science, pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) disodium, an antioxidant, was supplemented in pig feed in order to evaluate it for potential benefits on post-weaning performance and gut health in pigs.
In this study, 216 post-weaning pigs (6 replicates per diet, 6 pigs per pen) were given one of 6 isocaloric soybean meal-based diets supplemented with PQQ disodium. Diets contained PQQ disodium at the following concentrations: 0, 1.5, 3.0, 4.5, 6.0, or 7.5 mg/kg. The feeding period lasted 28 days. Two barrows and gilts were sacrificed from each pen at the end of the study period to collect and analyze gut tissue.
Results indicated that average daily gain (ADG) and gain to feed (G:F) ratio were significantly increased, while diarrhea incidence decreased, as PQQ disodium concentration in feed increased. Pigs fed PQQ disodium performed better than the control pigs fed no PQQ disodium. Ileal villius height and antioxidant enzymes were increased with PQQ disodium diets and zonula occluden protein-1 (associated with gut barrier health and integrity) were also increased in pigs fed PQQ disodium.
Overall, this study suggests that PQQ disodium has the potential to be used as a supplement added to post-weaning pig feed in order to improve their performance and gut health, supporting the author’s hypothesis of beneficial effects from supplementation of PQQ. More studies better elucidating the mechanism behind these findings is warranted. Determination of most ideal concentration of PQQ disodium and if there may be any synergistic effects with other antioxidants may also be potential areas of study.
To view the article, “Effects of pyrroloquinoline quinone supplementation on growth performance and small intestine characteristics in weaned pigs,” visit the Journal of Animal Science.