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Assessing the effect of dietary inulin supplementation on gastrointestinal fermentation, digestibility and growth in pigs: A meta-analysis
- Metzler-Zebeli, B.U., Trevisi, P., Prates, J.A.M., Tanghe, S., Bosi, P., Canibe, N., Montagne, L., Freire, J., Zebeli, Q.
- Animal feed science and technology 2017 v.233 pp. 120-132
- Bifidobacterium, Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus, average daily gain, body weight, correlation, crude protein, digesta, digestibility, feces, fermentation, finishing, gastric acid, homeostasis, ileum, intestinal microorganisms, inulin, meta-analysis, metabolites, models, nutrients, pH, secretion, swine
- Inulin has been reported to improve the homeostasis in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of pigs by modulating the intestinal microbiota and fermentation. The present study aimed to quantify the relationship between dietary inulin and microbial response variables in digesta from the GIT and feces of weaned, growing and finishing pigs using a meta-analytical approach. We further examined the effect of dietary inulin on the coefficients of ileal (CIAD) and total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of nutrients and ADG. Pig’s starting body weight was considered the main inclusion criterion. Missing information about explanatory variables and few values available for response variables reduced the number of studies included. From the 33 included articles published between 2000 and 2016, individual sub-datasets for fermentation metabolites, bacterial abundances, CIAD, CTTAD and performance were built. Prediction models on the effect on inulin were computed accounting for inter- and intra-study variability. Dietary inulin levels ranged from 0.1 to 25.8%, whereby the median and mean inulin levels were 0.1–2% and 3–4%, respectively. Few of the investigated fermentation response variables were influenced by dietary inulin. Strong negative relationships were found between dietary inulin and gastric pH in weaned pigs (R2=0.81; P<0.001; n=12), colonic enterobacteria (R2=0.50; P<0.001; n=19) and fecal lactobacilli (R2=0.41; P<0.001; n=26) throughout all production phases, whereas observed negative relationships between inulin and colonic bifidobacteria and fecal enterobacteria and Escherichia coli were of minor physiological relevance (P<0.05). Moreover, increasing inulin levels negatively correlated with the CTTAD of crude protein (R2=0.83; P<0.001; n=15), but they did not influence average daily gain of pigs. Best-fit models indicated that dietary crude protein amplified the effect of inulin on CTTAD of crude protein and gastric pH, but counteracted the inulin effect on fecal E. coli (P<0.05). Accordingly, both pig’s body weight and inulin decreased gastric pH and fecal lactobacilli but counteracted the inulin effect on colonic bifidobacteria and fecal E. coli (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study supported a stimulatory effect of dietary inulin on gastric acid secretion, which may be favorable GIT health in weaned pigs. However, due to limiting information provided in the original studies, like dietary fructans or fibers, low numbers of observation and low inulin levels, relationships should be regarded as trends.