L-arginine improves lactation performance in pigs. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effects of dietary arginine supplementation during gestation and lactation on the performance of lactating primiparous sows and nursing piglets.
J Anim Sci. 2008 Apr;86(4):827-35. Epub 2007 Dec 21. PMID: 18156355
Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409, USA.
A 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments in a randomized block design was used to determine the effects of dietary Arg supplementation during gestation and lactation on the lactation performance of 38 first-parity sows. At 30 d of gestation, pregnant gilts were allotted based on BW to 1 of 2 diets supplemented with 1% L-Arg.HCl or 1.7% L-Ala (isonitrogenous control). After farrowing, sows were further allotted based on BW within previous gestation treatment groups to 1 of 2 lactation diets supplemented with 1% L-Arg.HCl or 1.7% L-Ala (isonitrogenous control). All gestation diets contained 3.1 Mcal/kg and 12.2% CP (as is) and were fed 2 kg/d in 2 equally sized meals, whereas all lactation diets contained 3.2 Mcal/kg and 18.6% CP (as is) and were fed ad libitum. Litter size was standardized to 10 piglets by cross-fostering within 24 h postfarrowing. On a weekly basis, BW and backfat (BF) thickness of sows, as well as piglet BW were measured, and blood and milk samples were obtained from the sows. Number of days from weaning to estrus and ADFI were also recorded. There were no differences in BW, BF thickness, ADFI, or days until return to estrus among treatment groups. There was no effect of the gestation diet or a gestation x lactation diet interaction on any parameter measured. On d 7 of lactation, plasma concentrations of Arg and insulin in sows, as well as concentrations of most AA in milk, were greater (P<0.05) in response to Arg supplementation during lactation compared with the control. Weight gain of piglets from sows fed the Arg-supplemented diet during lactation was greater between d 0 and 7 (P<0.01) and between d 0 and 21 (P<0.05) of lactation compared with piglets from sows fed the control diet. Collectively, results from this study indicate the potential beneficial effects of dietary Arg supplementation in improving the lactation performance of first-parity sows.