Created from a proprietary strain of Aspergillus oryzae through a unique, multistep fermentation process, AO-Biotics (acting as a prebiotic) has been research-proven to support gut health and performance in weaning piglets and sows.
“We know through research that a swine’s gut represents much more than just digestion. Up to 70 percent of all the cells that make up the swine immune system are housed in its gut,” said Bill Bayless, Director of Commercial Sales at BioZyme. “The gut is the largest immune regulator and endocrine organ in the animal, making its health and proper functioning valuable to the animal’s viability and performance.
“At BioZyme, gut health is defined as the ability to sustain or rapidly restore the optimal balance between the absorptive and protective roles of the gut in order to best support animal performance and health,” said Bayless. “We measure the impact of our products by assessing four defined pillars of gut health: intestinal barrier function, immune-inflammatory response, digestion and absorptive capacity and balanced gut microbiota. AO-Biotics excels in all categories.”
In a recent study conducted by Dr. Ignacio R. Ipharraguerre, Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science at University of Kiel in Germany, early-weaned piglets fed AO-Biotics exhibited the following results compared to the control group:
- Increased growth homogeneity (1st week postweaning)
- Increased average daily gain
- Reduced gut leakiness
- Reduced diarrhea (1st week postweaning)
- Increased absorptive capacity of the gut
- Increased water intake
“With AO-Biotics, piglets are set up for better health, making them more resilient, thus reducing variability in the group,” said Bayless.
A research trial conducted by Ohio State University Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, found that sows fed AO-Biotics exhibited improved performance through:
- More late lactation
- Greater number of piglets weaned
- Higher feed intake in week 2 and 3 of lactation
- More total pounds weaned
“Sows fed AO-Biotics and control females, which were not fed AO-Biotics, were allowed to nurse the same number of piglets, however, by day seven, AO-Biotics females tended to have larger litter sizes to nurse,” said Bayless regarding the trial results. “At day 14 and at weaning, the difference in piglets per litter in terms of average daily gain and final weight statistically favored the sows fed AO-Biotics.”
Feed intake was also statistically different in late lactation, favoring increased intake for females receiving AO-Biotics, according to the study results. Over the entire lactation period, feed intake was numerically greater when sows were supplemented with AO-Biotics.
Anatomy of Swine Gut Health
Piglets at Weaning – Weaning imposes tremendous stress on piglets and is accompanied by marked changes in gastrointestinal physiology, microbiology and immunology. The post-weaning decrease in absorptive capacity in weaned pigs, coupled with immature digestion, often lead to nutrient indigestion and intestinal upsets causing diarrhea, depression of growth and even death.
Sows – One way to assist piglet health is by keeping the sow’s digestive system healthy. Maintaining a healthy GI tract with stable microbiota is key to sufficient feed intake and colostrum production. Sows with a healthy gut are more likely to produce larger litters.