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Tolerance and safety evaluation of N, N-dimethylglycine, a naturally occurring organic compound, as a feed additive in broiler diets

  • Isabelle D. Kalmar (a1) (a2), Martin W. A. Verstegen (a3), Klaus Maenner (a4), Jurgen Zentek (a4), Godelieve Meulemans (a5) and Geert P. J. Janssens (a1)...


N, N-dimethylglycine (DMG) is a tertiary amino acid that naturally occurs as an intermediate metabolite in choline-to-glycine metabolism. The objective of the present trial was to evaluate tolerance, safety and bioaccumulation of dietary DMG in broilers when supplemented at 1 g and 10 g Na-DMG/kg. A feeding trial was conducted using 480 1-d-old broiler chicks that were randomly allocated to twenty-four pens and fed one of three test diets added with 0, 1 or 10 g Na-DMG/kg during a 39 d growth period. Production performance was recorded to assess tolerance and efficacy of the supplement. At the end of the trial, toxicity was evaluated by means of haematology, plasma biochemistry and histopathology of liver, kidney and heart (n 12), whereas bioaccumulation was assessed on breast meat, liver, blood, kidney and adipose tissue (n 8). Carcass traits were similar between the control and 1 g Na-DMG/kg feed groups (P>0·05), but the feed:gain ratio was significantly improved at 1 g Na-DMG/kg feed compared with the control or the 10-fold dose (P = 0·008). Histological examinations showed no pathological effects and results of haematology and plasma biochemistry revealed similar values between the test groups (P>0·05). Bioaccumulation occurred at the 10-fold dose, but the resulting DMG content in breast meat was comparable with, for instance, wheat bran and much lower than uncooked spinach. In conclusion, DMG at 1 g Na-DMG/kg improved the feed:gain ratio in broilers without DMG being accumulated in consumer parts. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with DMG up to 10 g Na-DMG/kg did not induce toxicity or impaired performance in broilers.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: I. D. Kalmar, fax +32 264 78 48, email


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British Journal of Nutrition
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  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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