Interactive effects of phosphorus, calcium, and phytase supplements on products of phytate degradation in the digestive tract of broiler chickens

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This study aimed to distinguish between the single and interactive effects of phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and phytase on products of phytate degradation, including the disappearance of myo-inositol (MI), P, Ca, and amino acids (AA) in different segments of the digestive tract in broiler chickens. Additionally, all dephosphorylation steps from myo-inositol 1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakis (dihydrogen phosphate) (InsP6) to MI were investigated in the digesta of the terminal ileum. Unsexed Ross 308 broiler chickens were allocated to 56 pens with 19 birds per pen, and assigned to one of 8 dietary treatments. The dietary treatments included diets without (P−, 4.1 g/kg DM) or with (P+, 6.9 g/kg DM) monosodium phosphate supplementation, without (Ca−, 6.2 g/kg DM) or with (Ca+, 10.3 g/kg DM) additional fine limestone supplementation, and without or with 1,500 FTU phytase/kg feed in a factorial design. Adding Ca or P had no effect on InsP6 disappearance in the crop when phytase was added. InsP6 disappearance up to the terminal ileum (P−Ca− 56%) was decreased in P+Ca− (40%), and even more so in P+Ca+ (21%), when no phytase was added. Adding phytase removed all effects of P and Ca (77 to 87%); however, P+Ca+ increased the concentrations of lower InsP esters and reduced free MI in the ileum, even in the presence of phytase. These results indicate that mineral supplements, especially P and Ca combined, reduce the efficacy of endogenous microbial or epithelial phosphatases. Supplementation with phytase increased, while supplementation with Ca decreased the concentration of MI in all segments of the digestive tract and in blood plasma, demonstrating the ability of broilers to fully degrade phytate and absorb released MI. While AA disappearance was not affected by P or Ca, or an interaction among P, Ca, and phytase, it increased with the addition of phytase by 2 to 6%. This demonstrates the potential of the phytase used to increase AA digestibility, likely independent of P and Ca supply.

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