The effect of DL-, L-isomers and DL-hydroxy analog administered at 2 levels as dietary sources of methionine on the metabolic and antioxidant parameters and growth performance of turkeys

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A hypothesis was verified that dietary methionine (Met) improves the growth and antioxidant status of turkeys, and that its effects depend on dietary inclusion levels and sources. A total of 816 female Hybrid Converter turkeys was fed wheat-soybean meal-based diets supplemented with 3 sources of Met: DL-, L-isomers and DL-hydroxy analog (DLM, LM, and MHA, respectively). In 4 4-week periods (from one to 16 wk of age), dietary Met content corresponded to NRC (1994) recommendations or was increased by approximately 50% (in one to 8 wk by 44 to 46% and in 9 to 16 wk by 55 to 56% vs. the NRC guidelines) to match the recommendations of some breeding companies. Increased Met content resulted in higher final body weights of turkeys (P = 0.002), an improved feed conversion ratio (P = 0.049), increased total glutathione concentration and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) values, and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration (all P < 0.001) in the blood plasma of turkeys. In comparison with DLM, LM and MHA contributed to an increase in plasma glutathione concentration (P = 0.001), a decrease in plasma triacylglycerol (P = 0.003) and uric acid (P = 0.001) concentrations, and a decrease in liver MDA (P = 0.001) levels. A decrease in plasma MDA (vs. DLM) and lipid peroxides (LOOH) (vs. DLM and LM) concentrations as well as a decrease in plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (vs. DLM and LM) also were noted in the MHA treatment (P = 0.016, P = 0.001 and P = 0.011, respectively). In conclusion, the results of the study indicate that the antioxidant status of turkeys could be affected by dietary Met levels and sources. The dietary Met content increased by 50% relative to NRC recommendations, improved the growth performance of turkeys, and strengthened their antioxidant defense system. In comparison with DLM, LM and MHA could be considered positive nutritional factors as manifested by a beneficial decrease in plasma and hepatic MDA concentrations as well as an increase in plasma glutathione levels, and the effect of MHA was more pronounced.

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