Branch-chain amino acid requirements for lactating sows

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Under current dietary regimens, milk production by lactating sows is insufficient to sustain the maximal growth of their piglets. As precursors of glutamate and glutamine as well as substrates and activators of protein synthesis, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) have great potential for enhancing milk production by sows.

The BCAAs (isoleucine, leucine and valine) are now available commercially and were added to a basal corn/soya lactation feed at 1.535 and 3.07%. The additional amino acids significantly increased piglet milk consumption.

This resulted in major increases in piglet weight (P<0.001) and sows lost significantly less weight (P<0.001).

Piglet mortality was reduced (P=0.02).

To our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating effects of dietary supplementation with a mixture of BCAAs (without increasing dietary protein levels) on the lactational performance of lactating sows and associated effects on the enhanced growth and reduced mortality of pre-weaning piglets, as compared to an isonitrogenous control. This looks an exciting area for further investigation. 

REF: Rezaei et al. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology (2022) 13:65