A new study by Novus International, Inc. on the influence of organic trace element bis-chelates on piglet growth and development through changes in gene expression was recently published in the Journal of Animal Science.

The study, titled "Effects of mineral methionine hydroxy analog chelate in sow diets on epigenetic modification and growth of progeny", was published in the September issue of the Journal (Issue 98, Volume 9) and highlights the effect of feeding sows a specific organic trace element source, MINTREX® Zn, Cu and Mn trace element chelates from Novus, on the gut health and muscle development of piglets by altering the expression of specific genes in the progeny.

The Novus research team has focused for years on regulating growth and development of offspring through epigenetic modification by feeding the Mothers, but primarily in poultry. According to Dr. Juxing Chen and Dr. Ping Ren of Novus, the leaders of this study, this earlier work in the poultry breeding sector inspired them and their colleagues to think about other animal species and to find out if there could be comparable positive results in pigs, this study was the result.

"In our previous research, we saw that offspring of sows fed MINTREX® Zn during pregnancy and lactation showed improved growth rates, more meat in the lend area and improved survival rates from weaning to the end of fattening than those of sows fed inorganic trace elements," says Ren, "this new study has really helped us understand the mechanism behind these good results."

The published study explains the most important results in detail and illustrates the effect on piglets from sows fed MINTREX® Zn, Cu and Mn:
  • Promoting the growth rate of suckling pigs
  • Support of histone acetylation in the muscle of piglets at birth
  • Increased growth of the skeletal muscles
  • Improvement of intestinal health, which is associated with less intestinal inflammation.

Novus assisted Dr. Sung Woo Kim of the Department of Animal Science at North Carolina State University in conducting this study. Dr. Mercedes Vazquez Anon, Senior Director of Animal Nutrition at Novus, and other NCSU scientists were also part of the research team.

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