Effect of Folic Acid Supplementation and Dietary Protein Level on Growth Performance, Serum Chemistry and Immune Response in Weanling Piglets Fed Differing Concentrations of Aflatoxin
Lindemann, Merlin D.
Estienne, Mark J.
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Effects of folic acid and protein levels on growth and serum chemistry in pigs fed aflatoxin were determined in two experiments. Increasing aflatoxin (250 to 800 ppb) decreased (P < 0.05) weight gain and feed intake for both of the 35-day trials. In Experiment 1, increasing aflatoxin (0, 250, 500 ppb), increased linearly (P < 0.05) aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALKP) and ɣ-glutamyl transferase (GGT). Folic acid (0, 2.0, 5.0, 12.5 ppm) increased linearly (P < 0.05) serum K, Ca, P, Mg, and AST with the largest effect observed at 12.5 ppm. Folic acid decreased (P < 0.05) blood urea nitrogen (BUN): creatinine and Na:K. In Experiment 2, aflatoxin (800 ppb) increased (P < 0.05) glucose and GGT, and decreased (P < 0.05) Na:K and albumin:globulin. Increasing protein from 15 to 18% elevated BUN: creatinine (P < 0.05), albumin: globulin (P < 0.05), albumin (P < 0.05) and ALKP (P < 0.05). Folic acid (2 ppm) elevated (P < 0.05) BUN, and interacted with both aflatoxin (P < 0.10) and protein (P < 0.05) on BUN. Adding folic acid to aflatoxin contaminated diets improved some measures of clinical chemistry in Experiment 1 but not traditional growth performance measures. The higher protein level reduced the effects of aflatoxicosis on growth.