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Anim Biosci > Volume 34(3); 2021 Special Issue > Article
Animal Bioscience 2021;34(3): 338-344. Special Issue
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0010    Published online February 14, 2021.
- Special Issue -
Understanding intestinal health in nursery pigs and the relevant nutritional strategies
Sung Woo Kim1,*  , Marcos E. Duarte1 
Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Correspondence:  Sung Woo Kim, Tel: +1-919-513-1494, Fax: +1-919-515-6884, Email: sungwoo_kim@ncsu.edu
Received: 11 January 2021   • Revised: 20 January 2021   • Accepted: 23 January 2021
In the modern pig production, pigs are weaned at early age with immature intestine. Dietary and environmental factors challenge the intestine, specifically the jejunum, causing inflammation and oxidative stress followed by destruction of epithelial barrier and villus structures in the jejunum. Crypt cell proliferation increases to repair damages in the jejunum. Challenges to maintain the intestinal health have been shown to be related to changes in the profile of mucosa-associated microbiota in the jejunum of nursery pigs. All these processes can be quantified as biomarkers to determine status of intestinal health related to growth potential of nursery pigs. Nursery pigs with impaired intestinal health show reduced ability of nutrient digestion and thus reduced growth. A tremendous amount of research effort has been made to determine nutritional strategies to maintain or improve intestinal health and microbiota in nursery pigs. A large number of feed additives have been evaluated for their effectiveness on improving intestinal health and balancing intestinal microbiota in nursery pigs. Selected prebiotics, probiotics, postbiotics, and other bioactive compounds can be used in feeds to handle issues with intestinal health. Selection of these feed additives should aim modulating biomarkers indicating intestinal health. This review aims to define intestinal health and introduce examples of nutritional approaches to handle intestinal health in nursery pigs.
Keywords: Inflammation; Intestinal Health; Microbiota; Nutritional Strategies; Nursery Pigs; Oxidative Stress
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