Effects of Inulin Supplementation in Low- or High-Fat Diets on Reproductive Performance of Sows and Antioxidant Defence Capacity in Sows and Offspring

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Abstract

Contents

This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of inulin supplementation in low- or high-fat diets on both the reproductive performance of sow and the antioxidant defence capacity in sows and offspring. Sixty Landrace × Yorkshire sows were randomly allocated to four treatments with low-fat diet (L), low-fat diet containing 1.5% inulin (LI), high-fat diet (H) and high-fat diet containing 1.5% inulin (HI). Inulin-rich diets lowered the within-litter birth weight coefficient of variation (CV, p = 0.05) of piglets, increased the proportion of piglets weighing 1.0–1.5 kg at farrowing (p < 0.01), reduced the loss of body weight (BW) and backfat thickness (BF) during lactation (p < 0.05) and decreased the duration of farrowing as well as improved sow constipation (p < 0.05). Sows fed fat-rich diets gained more BW during gestation (p < 0.01), farrowed a greater number of total (+1.65 pigs, p < 0.05) and alive (+1.52 pigs p < 0.05) piglets and had a heavier (+2.06 kg, p < 0.05) litter weight at birth as well as a decreased weaning-to-oestrous interval (WEI, p < 0.01) compared with sows fed low-fat diets. However, it is worth noting that the H diet significantly decreased the serum activities of superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and increased the serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels in sows and piglets (p < 0.05). In contrast, HI diet enhanced the activities of T-SOD and GSH-Px and decreased the serum MDA concentrations (p < 0.05) in sows and piglets. In summary, the fat-rich diets fed to sows during gestation had beneficial effects on reproductive performance, but aggravated the oxidative stress in sow and piglets. Inulin-rich diets fed to sow during gestation had beneficial effects on within-litter uniformity of piglet birthweight and enhanced the antioxidant defence capacity of sows and piglets.

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