Dietary zinc source impacts intestinal morphology and oxidative stress in young broilers

Annatachja De Grande, Saskia Leleu, Evelyne Delezie, Christof Rapp, Stefaan De Smet, Evy Goossens, Freddy Haesebrouck, Filip Van Immerseel, Richard Ducatelle

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


Zinc is an essential nutritional trace element for all forms of life as it plays an important role in numerous biological processes. In poultry, zinc is provided by in-feed supplementation, mainly as zinc oxide or zinc sulfate. Alternatively zinc can be supplemented as organic sources, which are characterized by using an organic ligand that may be an amino acid, peptide, or protein to bind zinc and have a higher bioavailability than inorganic zinc sources. There are limited number of studies directly comparing the effects of inorganic vs. organic zinc sources on performance and intestinal health in broilers. Therefore, a digestibility and a performance study were conducted to evaluate and compare the effect of an amino acid-complexed zinc source vs. an inorganic zinc source on intestinal health. The experiment consisted of 2 treatments: either a zinc amino acid complex or zinc sulfate was added to a wheat–rye based diet at 60 ppm Zn, with 10 replicates (34 broilers per pen) per treatment. Effects on performance, intestinal morphology, microbiota composition, and oxidative stress were measured. Supplementing zinc amino acid complexes improved the zinc digestibility coefficient as compared to supplementation with zinc sulfate. Broilers supplemented with zinc amino acid complexes had a significantly lower feed conversion ratio in the starter phase compared to birds supplemented with zinc sulfate. A significantly higher villus length was observed in broilers supplemented with zinc amino acid complexes at days 10 and 28. Supplementation with zinc amino acid complexes resulted in a decreased abundance of several genera belonging to the phylum of Proteobacteria. Plasma malondialdehyde levels and glutathione peroxidase activity showed an improved oxidative status in broilers supplemented with zinc amino acid complexes. In conclusion, zinc supplied in feed as amino acid complex is more readily absorbed, potentially conferring a protective effect on villus epithelial cells in the starter phase.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftPoultry Science
Pagina's (van-tot)441-453
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2020


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