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Review: Link between intestinal immunity and practical approaches to swine nutrition

  • B. Humphrey (a1), J. Zhao (a2) and R. Faris (a2)


Gaining a deeper understanding into the underlying mechanisms associated with intestinal function and immunity during the weaning transition is critical to help shed new light into applied nutrition approaches to improve piglet performance and health during this critical life-stage transition. The transient anorexia triggered at weaning leads to compromised intestinal barrier function and a localized inflammatory response. Considering barrier function, specific nutrient fractions appear to have a significant impact on the development and function of the immune and microbial systems around weaning. Understanding the specific impact of nutrients in the small intestine and hindgut is important for helping to bring more focus and consistency to nutritional approaches to support health and immunity during the weaning transition period. The challenge continues to be how to translate these modes of action into practical and scalable approaches for swine nutrition. We will focus specifically on practical nutritional approaches to influence intestinal immunity through lipid, protein and antioxidant nutrition.

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