A feed additive boosts the antioxidant defenses of swine, better than vitamin E only

2 March 2017

A Ghent University study compared the antioxidant status of weaned piglets under stress conditions. It was found that a feed additive combined with vitamin E reached better results than only feeding vitamin E.

Stressing conditions, such as high temperatures, can negatively affect swine health, growth and meat quality. This is due to the generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), produced when cells use oxygen to generate energy from feed. During times of high stress ROS levels can increase dramatically, affecting animal performance and carcass quality. Antioxidants protect the animal by neutralizing ROS, reducing the negative effects of free radicals in the body.

How effective is high dosing of Vit E preventing performance losses?

Swine producers typically use vitamin E to increase the antioxidant status of animals and prevent economic damages due to the impact in performance. However, vitamin E quickly saturates when dosed above National Research Council (NRC) recommended levels. High dosage of vitamin E is less effective for managing the antioxidant status in swine. That brings into question the efficacy of this treatment.

Can a polyphenol based feed additive increase antioxidant status, too?

The trial at Ghent University concluded that under heat stress circumstances the swine fed feed additive in combination with Vit E outperformed the animals fed only Vit E (at two different levels). This confirms that combining the feed additive with low doses of vitamin E is the most efficient strategy to protect the antioxidant status of swine. 

Click here to read the details of the study