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Oral supplementations of betaine, choline, creatine and vitamin B6 and their influence on the development of homocysteinaemia in neonatal piglets

  • Marie-Édith Côté-Robitaille (a1) (a2), Christiane L. Girard (a1), Frédéric Guay (a2) and J. Jacques Matte (a1)

Abstract

Homocysteine (Hcy) is an intermediary sulphur amino acid recognised for pro-oxidative properties in several species which may weaken immune competence in piglets. In this species, there is an acute 10-fold increase of concentrations of plasma Hcy (pHcy) during the first 2 weeks of life. The present experiment aimed to determine if pHcy in piglets can be regulated by oral supplementations of betaine as a methyl group supplier, creatine for reducing the demand for methyl groups, choline with both previous functions and vitamin B6 as enzymic co-factor for Hcy catabolism. A total of seventeen sows (second parity) were fed gestation and lactation diets supplemented with folic acid (10 mg/kg) and vitamin B12 (150 µg/kg). Eight piglets in each litter received daily one of the eight following oral treatments (mg/kg body weight): (1) control (saline); (2) betaine (50); (3) choline (70); (4) creatine (300); (5) pyridoxine (0·2); (6) treatments 2 and 5; (7) treatments 3 and 4; and (8) treatments 2, 3, 4 and 5. According to age, pHcy increased sharply from 2·48 µm at birth to 17·96 µm at 21 d of age (P < 0·01). Concentrations of pHcy tended to be lower (P = 0·09) in treated than in control piglets but the highest and sole pairwise significant decrease (23 %) was observed between treatments 1 and 8 (P = 0·03). Growth from birth to 21 d of age was not influenced by treatments (P > 0·70). Therefore, it appears possible to reduce pHcy concentrations in suckling piglets but a combination of all chosen nutrients is required.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

* Corresponding author: J. Jacques Matte, email Jacques.Matte@agr.gc.ca

References

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Oral supplementations of betaine, choline, creatine and vitamin B6 and their influence on the development of homocysteinaemia in neonatal piglets

  • Marie-Édith Côté-Robitaille (a1) (a2), Christiane L. Girard (a1), Frédéric Guay (a2) and J. Jacques Matte (a1)

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