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Seaweeds in Pig Nutrition

Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via dell’Università 6, 26900 Lodi, Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie per la Salute, la Produzione Animale e la Sicurezza Alimentare, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1126;
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Pig Nutrition)
In pig nutrition, alternative and safe supplements are needed to enhance the pigs’ health and welfare. Natural feed components, such as herbs and plant extracts, are of great importance in animal nutrition, and marine macroalgae can be considered as supplements positively influence animal health parameters. Seaweeds possess several bioactive molecules that are studied for their prebiotic, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects. Seaweed benefits are related to their content of sulfated polysaccharides, phlorotannins, diterpenes, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. This paper reviews the following biological functions of seaweeds and seaweed extracts in pig nutrition: prebiotics, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, promoting intestinal well-being and improving digestibility.
Seaweeds are macroalgae, with different sizes, colors and composition. They consist of brown algae, red algae and green algae, which all have a different chemical composition and bioactive molecule content. The polysaccharides, laminarin and fucoidan are commonly present in brown seaweeds, ulvans are found in green seaweeds and, red algae contain a large amount of carrageenans. These bioactive compounds may have several positive effects on health in livestock. In order to reduce the antimicrobials used in livestock, research has recently focused on finding natural and sustainable molecules that boost animal performance and health. The present study thus summarizes research on the dietary integration of seaweeds in swine. In particular the influence on growth performance, nutrients digestibility, prebiotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory activities were considered. The review highlights that brown seaweeds seem to be a promising dietary intervention in pigs in order to boost the immune system, antioxidant status and gut health. Data on the use of green seaweeds as a dietary supplementation seems to be lacking at present and merit further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: seaweeds; dietary supplement; pig seaweeds; dietary supplement; pig
MDPI and ACS Style

Corino, C.; Modina, S.C.; Di Giancamillo, A.; Chiapparini, S.; Rossi, R. Seaweeds in Pig Nutrition. Animals 2019, 9, 1126.

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