Since the ban of 2006 on antimicrobial growth promotors (AGPs), the animal feed industry has been focusing on alternative strategies to improve gut health. In addition, to absorb nutrients the intestinal tract plays a key role in pathogen control and immune defenses, as long as its integrity is preserved.
Butyrate is a major short chain fatty acid mainly produced in the caeca by bacterial (Firmicutes) fermentations. Thanks to its regulatory effects on gene expression, butyrate has multiple beneficial effects, especially in young animals. Next to its major effect on gut barrier integrity, butyrate participates to pathogen control, such as Salmonella Enteritidis and Clostridium perfringens and has anti-inflammatory properties. The stronger barrier integrity, thanks to a better epithelial cell’s proliferation and thus longer villi, leads to an improved nutrients absorption and animal growth. The anti-inflammatory capacity of butyrate is linked with the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) encoding pro-inflammatory cytokines, inflammation-inducing enzymes, immune receptor… For all these reasons, butyrate can be an effective tool to contribute to the reduction of antibiotic use and improvement of animal’s performances.
Using butyrate in
Providing butyrate in the feed remains challenging as it can only be added in limited amount (offensive odor and absorption in the upper tract of the gut). Stimulating the endogenous production of butyrate thanks to microbiota modulation seems to be an efficient alternative. Prebiotics are good candidates to contribute to gut microbiota modulation. According to Gibson et al., prebiotics are “Selectively fermented ingredients that allow specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity of the gastrointestinal microflora that confer benefits upon host wellbeing and health”. Prebiotics are composed of oligosaccharides that are converted into secondary metabolites including lactate a major butyrate precursor. Standardized and characterized pectic-oligosaccharides (POS) from citrus peel are known to be efficient prebiotics and thus could participate to the stimulation of endogenous butyrate production.
Our natural citrus extract to improve feed efficiency
Nor-Spice AB® is a premixture of feed additives formulated from natural lemon extracts to stimulate the growth of lactic acid bacteria.