Skip to main content Accessibility help

Effect of N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation in parturition feed for sows on metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance

  • A. Cools (a1) (a2), D. Maes (a2), J. Buyse (a3), I. D. Kalmar (a1), J.-A. Vandermeiren (a1) and G. P. J. Janssens (a1)...


The current pilot study assessed the influence of N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) on insulin sensitivity, glucose and fat metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance of sows in the peripartal period. At day 105 of gestation, 25 sows were randomly assigned to the control (n = 13) or the DMG group (n = 12). Sows from the DMG group were supplemented with 1 g DMG/kg feed until day 3 of lactation. After an overnight fast 1 day after farrowing, a blood sample of each sow was drawn. The plasma was analyzed for insulin, glucose, fructosamine, leptin, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and triglycerides (TG) and an oral glucose tolerance test was performed. A rectal feces sample was collected and the apparent fecal digestibility (AFD) of crude fat (CFAT), crude protein (CP) and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) was calculated after proximate analyses. Finally, a colostrum sample was collected from each sow and analyzed for the presence of DMG. Reproductive performance parameters were recorded. The results showed an improvement in the AFD of CFAT, CP and NFE when DMG was supplemented. This beneficial effect confirms the hypothesis that DMG acts as an emulsifying agent. The improvement in digestibility in the DMG group was accompanied by a numerical increase in plasma TG (P = 0.067). Plasma NEFA concentrations were not different between treatment groups. DMG supplementation neither affected glucose clearance nor influenced plasma insulin, glucose, fructosamine or leptin levels. TBARS and FRAP also remained unaffected, despite previously reported anti-oxidative properties of DMG. Furthermore, no significant impact on reproductive performance could be recorded. In conclusion, DMG supplementation significantly improved nutrient digestibility. Possible beneficial effects on energy metabolism and reproductive performance of sows should be tested when DMG is supplemented for a longer period of time or at a higher dose.



Hide All
Alsop, JE, Hurnik, D, Bildfell, RJ 1994. Porcine ketosis: a case report and literature summary. Journal of Swine Health and Production 2, 58.
Ayoade, GO 2003. Lactation failure in sows – case report. African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences 32, 321322.
Barb, CR, Hausman, GJ, Houseknecht, KL 2001. Biology of leptin in the pig. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 21, 297317.
Benzie, IFF, Strain, JJ 1996. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: the FRAP assay. Analytical Biochemistry 239, 7076.
Budak, E, Fernández Sánchez, M, Bellver, J, Cerveró, A, Simón, C, Pellicer, A 2006. Interactions of the hormones leptin, ghrelin, adiponectin, resistin, and PYY3-36 with the reproductive system. Fertility and Sterility 85, 15631581.
Close, WH, Noblet, J, Heavens, RP 1985. Studies on the energy-metabolism of the pregnant sow. 2. the partition and utilization of metabolizable energy-intake in pregnant and non-pregnant animals. British Journal of Nutrition 53, 267279.
Dierick, NA, Decuypere, JA 2004. Influence of lipase and/or emulsifier addition on the ileal and faecal nutrient digestibility in growing pigs fed diets containing 4% animal fat. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 84, 14431450.
Eklund, M, Mosenthin, R, Piepho, HP 2006. Effects of betaine and condensed molasses solubles on ileal and total tract nutrient digestibilities in piglets. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section A-Animal Science 56, 8390.
Friesen, RW, Novak, EM, Hasman, D, Innis, SM 2007. Relationship of dimethylglycine, choline, and betaine with oxoproline in plasma of pregnant women and their newborn infants. Journal of Nutrition 137, 26412646.
Gannon, JR, Kendall, RV 1982. A clinical evaluation of N,N-dimethylglycine (Dmg) and diisopropylammonium dichloroacetate (Dipa) on the performance of racing greyhounds. Canine Practice 9, 713.
Goddard, JS, McLean, E 2001. Acid-insoluble ash as an inert reference material for digestibility studies in tilapia, Oreochromis aureus. Aquaculture 194, 9398.
Greene, HM, Wickler, SJ, Bray, RE, Burrill, MJ, London, C 1996. The effect of N,N-dimethylglycine on athletic performance at altitude in horses and mules. Pferdeheilkunde 12, 499501.
Guan, JQ, Tung, CH 1998. Dynamics of fluorescence quenching of pyrene in novel micelles of the zwitterionic betaine surfactant N-(3-dodecyloxy-2-hydroxypropyl)-N,N-dimethylglycine. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 208, 9095.
Hariganesh, K, Prathiba, J 2000. Effect of dimethylglycine on gastric ulcers in rats. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 52, 15191522.
Hulten, F, Neil, M, Einarsson, S, Hakansson, J 1993. Energy metabolism during late-gestation and lactation in multiparous sows in relation to backfat thickness and the interval from weaning to 1st oestrus. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 34, 920.
Jin, CJ, Park, HK, Cho, YM, Pak, YK, Lee, KU, Kim, MS, Friso, S, Choi, SW, Park, KS, Lee, HK 2007. S-adenosyl-L-methionine increases skeletal muscle mitochondrial DNA density and whole body insulin sensitivity in OLETF rats. Journal of Nutrition 137, 339344.
Jones, DB, Hancock, JD, Harmon, DL, Walker, CE 1992. Effects of exogenous emulsifiers and fat sources on nutrient digestibility, serum-lipids, and growth-performance in weanling pigs. Journal of Animal Science 70, 34733482.
Kalmar, ID, Cools, A, Buyse, J, Roose, P, Janssens, GPJ 2010. Dietary N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation improves nutrient digestibility and attenuates pulmonary hypertension syndrome in broilers. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, in press, 1–9. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0396.2010.01018.x.
Kemp, B, Soede, NM, Vesseur, PC, Helmond, FA, Spoorenberg, JH, Frankena, K 1996. Glucose tolerance of pregnant sows is related to postnatal pig mortality. Journal of Animal Science 74, 879885.
Kornegay, ET, Meacham, TN 1973. Evaluation of supplemental choline for reproducing sows housed in total confinement on concrete or in dirt lots. Journal of Animal Science 37, 506509.
Kronfeld, DS, Treiber, KH, Geor, RJ 2005. Comparison of nonspecific indications and quantitative methods for the assessment of insulin resistance in horses and ponies. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 226, 712719.
Lai, MH 2008. Antioxidant effects and insulin resistance improvement of chromium combined with vitamin C and E supplementation for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition 43, 191198.
Lever, M, George, PM, Dellow, WJ, Scott, RS, Chambers, ST 2005. Homocysteine, glycine betaine, and N,N-dimethylglycine in patients attending a lipid clinic. Metabolism 54, 114.
Lin, H, Decuypere, E, Buyse, J 2004. Oxidative stress induced by corticosterone administration in broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus): 1. Chronic exposure. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 139, 737744.
NRC 1998. Nutrient requirements of swine, 10th edition. National Academy Press, Washington DC, USA.
Odle, J, Lin, X, Wieland, TM, van Kempen, TATG 1994. Emulsification and fatty acid chain length affect the kinetics of [14C]-medium-chain triacylglycerol utilization by neonatal piglets. Journal of Nutrition 124, 8493.
Oliviero, C, Heinonen, M, Valros, A, Halli, O, Peltoniemi, OA 2008. Effect of the environment on the physiology of the sow during late pregnancy, farrowing and early lactation. Animal Reproduction Science 105, 365377.
Papadopoulos, GA, Maes, DG, Van, WS, van Kempen, TA, Buyse, J, Janssens, GP 2009. Peripartal feeding strategy with different n-6: n-3 ratios in sows: effects on sows’ performance, inflammatory and periparturient metabolic parameters. British Journal of Nutrition 101, 348357.
Pere, MC, Etienne, M, Dourmad, JY 2000. Adaptations of glucose metabolism in multiparous sows: effects of pregnancy and feeding level. Journal of Animal Science 78, 29332941.
Prunier, A, Guadarrama, CA, Mourot, J, Quesnel, H 2001. Influence of feed intake during pregnancy and lactation on fat body reserve mobilisation, plasma leptin and reproductive function of primiparous lactating sows. Reproduction Nutrition Development 41, 333347.
Quesnel, H, Meunier-Salaun, MC, Hamard, A, Guillemet, R, Etienne, M, Farmer, C, Dourmad, JY, Pere, MC 2009. Dietary fiber for pregnant sows: Influence on sow physiology and performance during lactation. Journal of Animal Science 87, 532543.
Revell, DK, Williams, IH, Mullan, BP, Ranford, JL, Smits, RJ 1998. Body composition at farrowing and nutrition during lactation affect the performance of primiparous sows: I. Voluntary feed intake, weight loss, and plasma metabolites. Journal of Animal Science 76, 17291737.
Sales, J, Janssens, GP 2003. Methods to determine metabolizable energy and digestibility of feed ingredients in the domestic pigeon (Columba livia domestica). Poultry Science 82, 14571461.
SKUP (Scandinavian evaluation of laboratory equipment for primary health care) 2006. Precision Xtra™ Plus (G3c) Precision Xceed. SKUP, Bergen, Norway. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from
SPSS Inc. 2008. SPSS version 17.0. SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Thiex, N 2002. Feeds. Journal of AOAC International 85, 270273.
Tonda, ME, Hart, LL 1992. N,N dimethylglycine and L-carnitine as performance enhancers in athletes. Annals of Pharmacotherapy 26, 935937.
van der Peet-Schwering, CMC, Kemp, B, Binnendijk, GP, den Hartog, LA, Vereijken, PFG, Verstegen, MWA 2004. Effects of additional starch or fat in late-gestating high nonstarch polysaccharide diets on litter performance anal glucose tolerance in sows. Journal of Animal Science 82, 29642971.
Weldon, WC, Lewis, AJ, Louis, GF, Kovar, JL, Giesemann, MA, Miller, PS 1994a. Postpartum hypophagia in primiparous sows. 1. effects of gestation feeding level on feed-intake, feeding-behavior, and plasma metabolite concentrations during lactation. Journal of Animal Science 72, 387394.
Weldon, WC, Lewis, AJ, Louis, GF, Kovar, JL, Miller, PS 1994b. Postpartum hypophagia in primiparous sows. 2. effects of feeding level during gestation and exogenous insulin on lactation feed-intake, glucose-tolerance, and epinephrine-stimulated release of nonesterified fatty-acids and glucose. Journal of Animal Science 72, 395403.
Wieland, TM, Lin, X, Odle, J 1993. Utilization of medium-chain triglycerides by neonatal pigs: effects of emulsification and dose delivered. Journal of Animal Science 71, 18631868.


Effect of N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation in parturition feed for sows on metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance

  • A. Cools (a1) (a2), D. Maes (a2), J. Buyse (a3), I. D. Kalmar (a1), J.-A. Vandermeiren (a1) and G. P. J. Janssens (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed