Alpha-Ketoglutarate: An Effective Feed Supplement in Improving Bone Metabolism and Muscle Quality of Laying Hens: A Preliminary Study
Department of Animal Physiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka St. 12, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, National Research Institute of Animal Production, Krakowska St. 1, 32-083 Balice, Poland
Department of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Ethology, Faculty of Animal Sciences, University of Agriculture in Kraków, 24/28 Mickiewicza Ave., 30-059 Cracow, Poland
Department of Functional Anatomy and Cytobiology, Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology, Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Akademicka St. 19, 20-033 Lublin, Poland
Department of Commodity Science and Processing of Raw Animal Materials, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Bioeconomy, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka St. 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Environmental Biology, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Akademicka St. 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
School of Physiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 October 2020 / Revised: 28 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 December 2020 / Published: 17 December 2020
High egg production in laying hens can negatively affect their skeletal system, which serves as a reservoir of minerals. Intense bone metabolism due to eggshell production in laying hens can lead to bone loss and subsequent fractures. Spent laying hens’ meat can be also used as raw material for the manufacture of processed products. Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG), a precursor of amino-acid glutamine, effectively improves growth performance, bone metabolism, immunity, and alleviate intestinal mucosal damage. The aim of this experiment was to assess the effect of dietary AKG supplementation on performance, serum hormonal parameters, intestine structure, bone parameters, articular cartilage degradation and characteristics of meat quality of laying hens with a mature skeletal system. The results of our study showed that dietary AKG supplementation did not influence feed intake, weight gain, or laying performance, but improved bone metabolism, increased bone collagen synthesis. Moreover, dietary AKG significantly decreased the cholesterol content of breast muscle. The results showed that AKG can be a valuable feed supplement, positively influencing the bone health status and welfare of laying hens.