Interpretive Summary: Effect of feeding calcium gluconate embedded in a hydrogenated fat matrix on feed intake, gastrointestinal fermentation and morphology, intestinal brush border enzyme activity and blood metabolites in growing lambs
By: Daniel H M Watanabe, John Doelman, Michael A Steele, Le L Guan, Dave J Seymour, John A Metcalf, Gregory B Penner
Gluconate salts have been reported to be metabolized by microbes in the gastrointestinal tract to yield butyrate. Butyrate has shown potential to enhance functionality of the gastrointestinal tract by increasing the absorptive surface area, enzyme activity, and the barrier function. This study evaluated the inclusion of four levels of hydrogenated fat-embedded Ca-gluconate (HFCG; 0.0%, 0.075%, 0.30%, and 0.60% of the diet) designed to increase the production of butyrate in the large intestine. Thirty-two wether lambs were fed for 28 d, slaughtered, and eviscerated to allow complete evaluation of the gastrointestinal tract and its contents. Growth and dry matter intake decreased linearly with increasing dose of HFCG. Dose of HFCG cubically affected short-chain fatty acid concentration in the cecum with increased concentrations at the 0.075% dose. Moreover, increasing dose of HFCG linearly increased the proportion of acetate and linearly decreased the proportion of propionate in the cecum without altering the proportion of butyrate. Thus, the supplementation of HFCG did not increase butyrate concentration in the large intestine and did not enhance gastrointestinal tract function.
Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.