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Effect of dietary calcium level and source on mineral utilisation by piglets fed diets containing exogenous phytase

Schlegel, P., Gutzwiller, A.
Journal of animal physiology and animal nutrition 2017 v.101 no.5 pp. e165
Lithothamnium, blood serum, body weight changes, calcium, calcium carbonate, diet, digestibility, dose response, feed conversion, growth performance, magnesium, metabolism, mineral content, minerals, pH, phosphorus, phytases, piglets, solubility, stomach, zinc
Calcium and phosphorus are essential minerals, closely linked in digestive processes and metabolism. With widespread use of low P diets containing exogenous phytase, the optimal dietary Ca level was verified. The 40‐day study evaluated the effects of Ca level (4, 7 and 10 g/kg diet) and Ca source (Ca from CaCO₃ and from Lithothamnium calcareum) on mineral utilisation in 72 piglets (7.9 ± 1.0 kg BW) fed an exogenous phytase containing diet with 2.9 g digestible P/kg. Measured parameters were growth performance, stomach mineral solubility, bone breaking strength and urinary, serum and bone mineral concentration. The apparent total tract digestibility of minerals was also assessed in the two diets with 7 g Ca/kg, using 12 additional pigs. Regardless of Ca source, increasing dietary Ca impaired feed conversion ratio, increased urinary pH, increased serum and urinary Ca, decreased serum and urinary P, decreased serum Mg and increased urinary Mg, increased serum AP activity, decreased bone Mg increased bone Zn. Bone breaking strength was improved with 7 compared to 4 g Ca/kg. Compared to CaCO₃, Ca from Lithothamnium calcareum increased serum Mg and with, 10 g Ca/kg, it limited body weight gain. The dose response of Ca in a diet with 2.9 g digestible P/kg and including exogenous phytase indicated that: (i) a low dietary Ca was beneficial for piglet growth, but was limiting the metabolic use of P; (ii) a high dietary Ca level impaired P utilisation; (iii) the optimal P utilisation and bone breaking strength was obtained with a dietary Ca‐to‐digestible P ratio of 2.1 to 2.4:1; (iv). Increasing dietary Ca reduced Mg utilisation, but not Zn status, when fed at adequate level. Finally, Ca from Lithothamnium calcareum had similar effects on Ca and P metabolism as CaCO₃, but impaired growth when fed at the highest inclusion level.