β-lactoglobulin as a potential modulator of intestinal activity and morphology in neonatal piglets

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Abstract

Studies were conducted to determine the effects of the whey protein β-lactoglobulin (blg) on the intestinal development and intestinal morphology in neonatal piglets. Two trials (5 and 28 days) were conducted on piglets in three separate groups. One group served as a control group while the remaining two were experimental groups based on diets. The two experimental diets were a bovine colostrum powder, one with supplementation with blg and the other without. The control group remained suckling on a sow. All groups were weaned on day 20 and placed onto a solid commercial piglet diet. Enzymatic activity, total DNA synthesis, crypt depth, and villus height were all parameters used to evaluate the effect of blg. Piglets fed a diet supplement with blg had the greatest total DNA after 5 days. Sow-reared piglets had the greatest intestinal morphology development with regards to villus height. No significant differences were found in enzymatic activity between treatments. Anat Rec Part A 288A:601–608, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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