Fatty acids, inflammation and intestinal health in pigs

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The intestine is not only critical for nutrient digestion and absorption, but also is the largest immune organ in the body. However, in pig production, inflammation induced by numerous factors, such as pathogen infection and stresses (e.g., weaning), results in intestinal mucosal injury and dysfunction, and consequently results in poor growth of pigs. Dietary fatty acids not only play critical roles in energy homeostasis and cellular membrane composition, but also exert potent effects on intestinal development, immune function, and inflammatory response. Recent studies support potential therapeutic roles for specific fatty acids (short chain and medium chain fatty acids and long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids) in intestinal inflammation of pigs. Results of these new lines of work indicate trophic and cytoprotective effects of fatty acids on intestinal integrity in pigs. In this article, we review the effect of inflammation on intestinal structure and function, and the role of specific fatty acids on intestinal health of pigs, especially under inflammatory conditions.

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Liu, Y. (2015, September 9). Fatty acids, inflammation and intestinal health in pigs. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-015-0040-1

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