Background: The similarities between swine and humans in physiological and genomic patterns, as well as significant correlation in size and anatomy, make pigs an useful animal model in nutritional studies during pregnancy. In humans and pigs iron needs exponentially increase during the last trimester of pregnancy, mainly due to increased red blood cell mass. Insufficient iron supply during gestation may be responsible for the occurrence of maternal iron deficiency anemia and decreased iron status in neonates. On the other hand, preventive iron supplementation of non-anemic mothers may be of potential risk due to iron toxicity. Several different regimens of iron supplementation have been applied during pregnancy. The majority of oral iron supplementations routinely applied to pregnant sows provide inorganic, non-heme iron compounds, which exhibit low bioavailability and intestinal side effects. The aim of this study was to check, using pig as an animal model, the effect of sucrosomial ferric pyrophosphate (SFP), a new non-heme iron formulation on maternal and neonate iron and hematological status, placental transport and pregnancy outcome; Methods: Fifteen non-anemic pregnant sows were recruited to the experiment at day 80 of pregnancy and randomized into the non-supplemented group (control; n = 5) and two groups receiving oral iron supplementation—sows given sucrosomial ferric pyrophosphate, 60 mg Fe/day (SFP; n = 5) (SiderAL®
, Pisa, Italy) and sows given ferrous sulfate 60 mg Fe/day (Gambit, Kutno, Poland) (FeSO4
; n = 5) up to delivery (around day 117). Biological samples were collected from maternal and piglet blood, placenta and piglet tissues. In addition, data on pregnancy outcome were recorded.; Results: Results of our study show that both iron supplements do not alter neither systemic iron homeostasis in pregnant sows nor their hematological status at the end of pregnancy. Moreover, we did not detect any changes of iron content in the milk and colostrum of iron supplemented sows in comparison to controls. Neonatal iron status of piglets from iron supplemented sows was not improved compared with the progeny of control females. No statistically significant differences were found in average piglets weight and number of piglets per litter between animals from experimental groups. The placental expression of iron transporters varied depending on the iron supplement.
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