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Anim Biosci > Accepted Articles
https://doi.org/10.5713/ab.21.0455    [Accepted] Published online January 4, 2022.
Acidification of drinking water improvement tibia mass of broilers associated with the alterations in intestinal barrier and microbiota
Huaiyong Zhang1  , Yujun Guo1  , Ziyang Wang1  , Yongshuai Wang1  , Bo Chen1  , Pengfei Du1  , Xiangli Zhang1  , Yanqun Huang1  , Peng Li2  , Joris Michiels3  , Wen Chen1,* 
1College of Animal Science and Technology, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou, 450002, China
2Novus International, Shanghai, 200080, China
3Laboratory for Animal Nutrition and Animal Product Quality, Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Ghent University, Ghent 9000, Belgium
Correspondence:  Wen Chen, Tel: +86-0371-56552516, Fax: +86-0371-56552516, Email: cchenwen@aliyun.com
Received: 5 October 2021   • Revised: 4 November 2021   • Accepted: 16 November 2021
Diet acidification supplementation is known to influence intestinal morphology, gut microbiota, and on phosphorus (P) utilization of broilers. Alterations in intestinal barrier and microbiota have been associated with systemic inflammation and thus regulating bone turnover. Hence the effect of acidifier addition to drinking water on tibia mass and the linkages between intestinal integrity and bone were studied.
One-d-old male broilers were randomly assigned to normal water (Control) or continuous supply of acidified water (2% the blend of 2-hydroxy-4-methylthiobutyric acid, lactic, and phosphoric acid) group with 5 replicates of 10 chicks per replicate for 42 d.
Acidification of drinking water improved the ash percentage and calcium content of tibia at 42 d. Broilers receiving acidified water had increased serum P concentration compared to control birds. The acidified group showed improved intestinal barrier, evidenced by increased wall thickness, villus height, the villus height to crypt depth ratio, and upregulated mucin-2 expression in ileum. Broilers receiving drinking water containing mixed organic acids had a higher proportion of Firmicutes and the ratio of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, as well as a lower population of Proteobacteria. Meanwhile, the addition of acidifier to drinking water resulted in declined ileal and serum proinflammatory factors level and increased immunoglobulin concentrations in serum. Concerning bone remodeling, acidifier addition was linked to a decrease in serum C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase reflecting bone resorption, whereas it did not apparently change serum alkaline phosphatase activity that is a bone formation marker.


Acidified drinking water increased tibia mineral deposition of broilers, which was probably linked with higher P utilization and decreased bone resorption due to improving intestinal integrity and gut microbiota and to decreased systemic inflammation.
Keywords: Acidified Water; Broiler; Intestinal Barrier; Microbiota; Tibial Mass
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