The potential of probiotics as in-feed growth enhancers for swine
Wealleans, A. and Litten-Brown, J. C. (2010) The potential of probiotics as in-feed growth enhancers for swine. Food Science and Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods, 7 (5). pp. 65-75. ISSN 1476-2137
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Probiotics have enjoyed a surge of popularity in recent years, with many novel applications being proposed. One of the foremost for the agricultural industry is their potential for livestock growth promotion, a subject of special interest since the 2006 EU-wide ban on sub therapeutic levels of in-feed antibiotic growth enhancers. Probiotics work through a number of differing mechanisms, most of which are not, as yet, fully understood. The probiotics interact with the host’s natural gut flora in a complex and varying array of mechanisms, but ultimately work to improve nutrient digestibility and gut health and to suppress the actions of pathogenic bacteria. In conclusion, probiotics can be a useful replacement for in-feed antibiotic growth enhancers. However, care should be taken due to the variability of the size of the effect and the inconsistency of the results in the published literature.
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