An investigation of the possible health-promoting modes of action of regular- and super- doses of phytase in the broiler chicken

Beeson, Laura Alice (2017) An investigation of the possible health-promoting modes of action of regular- and super- doses of phytase in the broiler chicken. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The overall objective of this thesis was to study the effects of regular and high (super-) doses of phytase in the gut of broilers, with the aim of documenting the mechanism of their action leading to improvements in animal health.

Phytase is often supplemented to commercial broiler diets to facilitate the hydrolysis of plant phytate and release of phosphorus for utilisation. Although not the original intention of its addition, phytase supplementation leads to improvements in growth performance parameters and enhanced nutrient utilisation. Further benefits have also been observed following the addition of super-doses of phytase which are not explained by an increase in phosphorus release, and thus have been termed ‘extra-phosphoric effects’. Using diets formulated to be adequate or marginally deficient in available phosphorus (aP; forming the negative control, NC), phytase was supplemented at 1,500 and 3,000 FTU/kg phytase in the first study (both super-doses) and the partitioning of nutrients within the body was investigated. It appeared that there were some metabolic changes between 1,500 and 3,000 FTU/kg, switching between protein and fat accretion, potentially as a consequence of nutrient availability, although these changes were not reflected by changes in growth performance parameters. However, the loss of the NC treatment without phytase on day 12 limits the comparison of the phytase within the NC treatment, but does allow for comparison of each dose at adequate or low dietary aP levels. As expected, a greater degree of phytate hydrolysis was achieved with 3,000 than with 1,500 FTU/kg phytase, but changes in carcass accretion characteristics were greater with 1,500 than 3,000 FTU/kg. Using these findings and the observation that there were no further changes in the parameters measured by increasing phytase from 1,500 to 3,000 FTU/kg (aside from phytate hydrolysis), 1,500 FTU/kg phytase was selected as the super-dose to be used in subsequent studies.

The next study considered the influence of regular (500 FTU/kg) and super doses (1,500 FTU/kg) of phytase from within the gut. Overall, it was observed that changes were occurring to the gut environment, which ultimately would influence the absorptive capacity and conditions for further phytate hydrolysis. Dietary treatment influenced gut conditions such as pH, intestinal morphology and bacterial populations which can subsequently influence nutrient utilisation and potential for growth. The subsequent study was designed to investigate the effects within the gut in more detail. The release of nutrients from phytate hydrolysis and their bioavailability within the digesta can influence conditions within intestine, facilitating enhanced absorption. One of the parameters investigated was the expression of genes involved in the transport of nutrients in the intestine. Overall, there were few significant dietary treatment influences on gene expression in the intestine, however there was a dose-dependent response of phytase on the expression of the jejunual divalent mineral transporter. This indicates a change in divalent mineral bioavailability in the intestine, with correlations with inositol phosphate esters (IPs) being identified. This is likely explained by the IPs produced by phytase hydrolysis and accumulating in the digesta, differing between regular and high doses of phytase.

It became apparent that interactions between the products of phytate hydrolysis (IP3, IP4) and minerals in the digesta had the potential to influence the gut environment and subsequent nutrient bioavailability and overall phytase action. The final study was designed to increase the content of the IPs, and investigate the influence of phytase under these conditions. As the complete hydrolysis of phytate to myo-inositol has been reported to be beneficial due to its proposed insulin mimetic effects, myo-inositol was also supplemented to one of the diets to see if any further benefits would be observed when supplemented alongside super-doses of phytase. Neither increased concentrations of the higher IP esters (IP6, IP5 and IP4) nor myo-inositol (myo-) had any effect on broiler growth performance, however there were still apparent beneficial influences of phytase supplementation. The results suggest considerable and important interactions between minerals and IP esters within the digesta, which ultimately have the potential to influence gut conditions and thus nutrient utilisation and growth performance. Reduced concentrations of blood glucose in the high IP ester diet with additional phytase supplementation suggest some insulin-like effects of myo- production. Additionally, the lack of effect of myo- supplementation on blood glucose and insulin concentrations suggests a difference between the structure of phytase-produced myo- and supplemented myo-.

Although there were no improvements in growth performance by increasing phytase from 500 to 1,500 FTU/kg, there were changes occurring at the level of the gut and expression of genes in the intestine, influencing nutrient utilisation and the partitioning of nutrients within the body. There are many factors to be considered when supplementing phytase, with dietary nutrient content and nutrient release and IP production during phytate hydrolysis having an influence on phytase action, nutrient absorption and conditions within the gut. Super-doses of phytase may be beneficial for maintaining optimal gut conditions, clearing IP esters from the digesta, reducing their potential to form complexes with minerals and other nutrients, ultimately influencing the efficiency of production.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: phytase, super-dosing, growth performance, nutrient utilisation, phytate hydrolysis, gut health.
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Funder's Name: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Olukosi, Dr. Oluyinka and Hastie, Dr. Peter and Walk, Dr. Carrie
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Miss Laura Beeson
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-7853
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 14:08
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2018 11:01

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