Fermentable carbohydrates, potential dietary modulators of intestinal physiology, microbiology and immunity in pigs

E. Bauer, B.A. Williams, M.W.A. Verstegen, R. Mosenthin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


Development of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota during early life is particularly dynamic, and develops to a dense, complex and stable Community. This bacterial succession involves microbe-microbe and host-microbe interactions and is dependent on host-supplied exogenous and endogenous nutrients. Research into possible alternatives for in-feed antibi-otics has focused mainly on the potentially beneficial activities of the GIT microbiota. Prebiotics, or the fermentable carbohydrates, such as nondigestible oligosaccharides, are con-sidered to have beneficial effects both on the composition and activity of the indigenous GIT microbiota, which can enhance resistance against colonization by pathogens. Additional effects of fermentable carbohydrates may also be derived from their beneficial influence on physiological aspects, including mineral absorption, reduced serum lipid levels, or reduced production of putrefactive substances. Furthermore, the short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) as end products of the fermentation process are well known for their health-promoting effects, including their trophic effects on the intestinal epithelium, and their antibacterial activities. Dietary carbohydrates may also exert immunomodulating effects mediated by changes in the intestinal microbiota, such as promotion of lactic acid bacteria which are considered to stimulate the immune response.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiology of nutrition in growing animals
EditorsR. Mosenthin, J. Zentek, T. Zebrowska
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Publication series

NameBiology of growing animals

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