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.
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 29 November 2019 / Accepted: 9 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
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.