The use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in order to modulate the gut microbiota and to control the pathogen level is widespread. This goes along with higher antibiotic resistance levels and consequently major human health concerns. Therefore, consumers all over the globe are pushing for solutions to avoid AGPs and the number of countries banning these substances increases. Consequently, livestock producers have to find an efficient alternative.
The intestinal integrity of the animal is crucial for an efficient production. The epithelial cells absorb valuable nutrients and the gut constitutes 70 – 80% of the immune system. For that reason, the stimulation of epithelial cells, the activation of villi growth and an enhanced crypt depth are a major focus in modern animal nutrition. Vast research has shown that a key substance to achieve an improved intestinal health is butyric acid. This organic acid serves as a highly effective energy source for the epithelial cells in the small and large intestine. Therefore, it is essential to deliver butyric acid to the entire intestinal tract.
In addition, organic acids are active against pathogens, thereby contributing to an improved animal health. Especially formic and lactic acid effectively reduce the load of bacteria like salmonella, E. coli or clostridium in the stomach. As a result, less pathogens reach the gut, leading to an enhanced intestinal health.
PreAcid: a clever combination for better gut health
PreAcid, the prebiotic acidifier, is highly efficacious in the entire digestive tract because of the clever combination of active complexes (Figure 1).
In the proximal gastrointestinal tract, the well-proven acidifiers of the CaPlus complex (lactic plus formic acid and their calcium salts) already reduce the pathogen load.
The prebiotic GlucoFence complex provides an optimum energy supply for the epithelial cells throughout the entire intestine. Butyrate as first component is directly available as a source of energy for the epithelial cells in the upper intestine. The second component gluconate reaches the large intestine, where bacteria transform it into butyric acid. It therefore delivers the main source of energy for the epithelial cells to the large intestine. This results in positive effects on the growth of villi, nutrient absorption and, finally, animal nutrition.
In a study with 144 broilers (Cobb) at the university of Georgia (USA) the positive effect of PreAcid as promoter for the intestinal structure was shown. A group with PreAcid supplemented feed (PA) was tested against a mixture of conventional organic acids as negative control (NC), and an AGP as positive control (AGP). After the 21 d trial period the villi height and crypt depth were analyzed.
It was observed that the intestinal morphometry of the broilers in the PreAcid group was superior to that of the other groups. Especially the crypt depth in the Duodenum, Jejunum and Ileum was larger in comparison to the NC and the AGP, leading to a higher intestinal surface. This clearly demonstrates the positive effect of the GlucoFence complex on the status of the small and large intestine.
The results: a better intestinal health, more efficient nutrient absorption and improved performance. Numerous scientific and applied studies demonstrated these positive effects of PreAcid on economic parameters across a variety of livestock species.
In fattening pigs and broilers, enhanced weight gain, lower FCR and decreased mortality are achieved, thereby optimizing the feed cost/kg meat. PreAcid was also successfully applied in layer diets, resulting in a higher laying performance and uniformity of the eggs as well as in increased egg weight and mass. Furthermore, the occurrence of broken eggs was reduced because of a higher eggshell stability. The reasons: efficient mineral absorption in the gut and the highly bioavailable calcium in PreAcid.
In summary, the research outcomes clearly show: not only is PreAcid beneficial for the animals because of a healthier GI tract. The farmer profits as well in economic terms.