L-glutamine works even better than antibiotics for weaned pigs under stress, researcher Jay Johnson and his team at the United States Department of Agriculture’s research service has found.
They had already found at L-glutamine could improve performance as well as antibiotic additives in rations, but what they have now learned is that it’s even better than antibiotics for weaners stressed by 12 hours of travel to new facilities.
They found that:
- Glutamine-fed piglets gained weight as well as the antibiotic group but showed fewer signs of intestinal damage from pathogens.
- Glutamine group members were also somewhat less aggressive in pens with mixed litters than those given the antibiotic.
- Compared to the control group, glutamine- and antibiotic-treated piglets showed lower blood plasma levels of tumornecrosisfactoralpha, a biochemical marker of inflammation and immune system activity that can use energy and divert it from the animals’ growth needs.
- The meat quality of market-ready pigs from the glutamine group was no different than that of the antibiotic or control group
Now they want to conduct research to determine why and how L-glutamine works so well.