DPP Lunch and Learn
Dr. Charlotte Lauridsen – Lipid nutrition and gut health of pigs.
By: Dr. Emily Taylor
Dr. Lauridsen began the DPP lunch and learn with discussing a common topic of the day – pre-weaning piglet mortality and the challenges associated. Challenges facing the swine industry in relation to pre-weaning mortality include both low birth weights and drops in temperature, which have been negatively correlated to the increase in litter size seen around the world. In addition, gut development is prolific at this time and can be drastically impacted. This leaves the post-weaned pigs gut still very immature and not fully prepared for the digestion and absorption needed to be productive. A potentially severely hindered immune system could also result from a lack of colostrum early on.
Dr. Lauridsen continues to discuss how the composition of fatty acids and their molecular structures influence digestion, absorption, and metabolism of dietary fat, as well as the bioactivity of the fatty acids. It was suggested to use manipulations in the sows fatty acid composition of the milk or the inclusion of dietary fat sources, to enhance pig performance and their gut health pre- and post weaning. Specifically, medium-chained fatty acids, which are absorbed directly to the portal blood and may contribute immediate energy for the piglet, as well as providing antibacterial effects.
Overall, dietary fatty acid composition is critical in many phases of a pigs’ life to support normal immune health, proper growth and modulate resistance to infectious diseases.