FROM THE INSIDE OUT:
gut health and performance of pigs
The hidden threat of mycotoxins in animal feeds has gained wider recognition over the past decade. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by a variety of mold species that can be found growing on crops in the field or on stored feed materials post-harvest.
It is common for feedstuffs to be contaminated with multiple mycotoxins, as many molds have the potential to produce multiple toxic metabolites and many molds can grow under similar environmental conditions.
Additionally, animal feeds containing several grain sources can bring together a variety of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins cause a variety of symptoms in pigs, ranging from feed refusal and lowered growth performance, to altered reproductive capacity, to immunity problems.
However, what may be the first target of mycotoxins and one of the most influential effects on pigs, is the effects on gut health. Many mycotoxins have cytotoxic and pro-oxidative properties which can damage gut tissues and alter intestinal functions. These impacts on gut health can subsequently affect the performance of pigs.
Author: Dr. Alexandra Weaver
Alltech Mycotoxin Management
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