Recent Advances in Understanding the Influence of Zinc, Copper, and Manganese on the Gastrointestinal Environment of Pigs and Poultry
Gut Health Consultancy, Exeter EX14 1QY, Devon, UK
Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
Animine, 10 Rue Léon Rey-Grange, 74960 Annecy, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Claudio Forte and Francesca Romana Massacci
Received: 16 March 2021
Revised: 24 April 2021
Accepted: 26 April 2021
Published: 29 April 2021
Pigs and poultry, similar to humans, need regular consumption of zinc, copper, and manganese for normal functioning. To ensure adequate dietary intake, and prevent deficiency, their diets are supplemented with sufficient, often excessive, levels of these minerals or even at higher levels, which have been associated with improvements in their health and/or growth. However, if provided in excess, mineral quantities beyond those required are simply excreted from the animal, which is associated with negative consequences for the environment and even the development of antimicrobial resistance. Therefore, it is of great interest to better understand the dynamics of zinc, copper, and manganese in the intestine of pigs and poultry following consumption of supplemented diets, and how the requirements and benefits related to these minerals can be optimized and negative impacts minimized. The intestine of pigs and poultry contains vast numbers of microorganisms, notably bacteria, that continually interact with, and influence, their host. This review explores the influence of zinc, copper, and manganese on these interactions and how novel forms of these minerals have the potential to maximize their delivery and benefits, while limiting any negative consequences.