Animal Research
selcted excerts from Enzymes for Digestive Health and Nutritional Wealth.
c2003. by Karen DeFelice

see Dairy - the Multi-faceted Substance

see Dairy increases absorptive villi in gut

Why you should eat like a pig!

Enzymes are a very common and long-standing addition to the diets of livestock animals and domestic pets, and far ahead of that with humans. Some animals are have one stomach, some more than one. The animal with a digestive system most like humans are pigs.

Farmers are keenly aware that excessive material in the colon is food for harmful bacteria. The idea is to give enzymes that can break down the hard-to-digest plant fiber and roughage so the nutrients and energy benefit the animal and leave little left over to feed adverse bacteria.

With more undigested fiber in the intestines, the rate at which the food passes through is prolonged (the transit time is too long). A thick, sticky, dense mass of digestive contents moving slowly thorough the intestines can provide a stable environment for microbial growth and proliferation of bacteria. High intestinal bacteria populations irritate the gut lining, damaging microvilli and decreasing nutrient absorption.

Enzymes in animal nutrition

An example study is from Sarosiek, Slomiany, and Slomiany (1988) who monitored pig intestinal linings for feed transit time and consistency. Campylobacter pylori became established and weakened the gastric mucosal barrier. This bacteria caused a rapid degradation of mucus proteins, which at the end of 48 hours decreased the mucosal lining by 36% and increased gut permeability.

Hopwood, Pethick, and Hampson (2002) found that increased density, stickiness, and slowing of the digestive matter in the intestines stimulated the proliferation of the toxic pathogens Escherichia coli and Brachyspira pilosicoli in weaned piglets.

The following study shows how digestive enzymes inhibited E. coli in the gut.

Oral administration of protease inhibits enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli receptor activity in piglet small intestine.

Mynott TL, Luke RK, Chandler DS. School of Agriculture, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia. Gut. 1996 Jan;38(1):28-32. PMID: 8566855 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The virulence of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is attributed to their ability to adhere via fimbrial adhesins to specific receptors located on the intestinal mucosa. A novel approach to preventing ETEC induced diarrhoea would be to prevent attachment of ETEC to intestine by proteolytically modifying the receptor attachment sites. This study aimed to examine the effect of bromelain, a proteolytic extract obtained from pineapple stems, on ETEC receptor activity in porcine small intestine. Bromelain was administered orally to piglets and K88+ ETEC attachment to small intestine was measured at 50 cm intervals using an enzyme immunoassay. K88+ ETEC attachment to intestinal sections that were not treated with bromelain varied appreciably between sampling sites. Variability in receptor activity along the intestinal surface is though to be caused by the localised effects of endogenous proteases. Oral administration of exogenous protease inhibited K88+ ETEC attachment to pig small intestine in a dose dependent manner (p < 0.05). Attachment of K88+ ETEC was negligible after treatment, resembling the levels of attachment of K88 to piglets of the genetically determined non-adhesive phenotype, which are resistant to K88+ ETEC infection. Serum biochemical analysis and histopathological examination of treated piglets showed no adverse effects of the bromelain treatment. It is concluded that administration of bromelain can inhibit ETEC receptor activity in vivo and may therefore be useful for prevention of K88+ ETEC induced diarrhoea.

Giving digestive enzymes supplement the animal’s own internally produced enzymes. Consuming more feed may overwhelm the animal’s ability to produce sufficient enzymes either from its own tissue or through the micro-flora in the gut (remember that probiotics also produce digestive enzymes). Broiler chickens have a higher rate of feed intake than other poultry, and studies show they respond well to additional enzymes.

Enzyme supplementation has the potential to improve the nutritive value of feedstuffs, and poor quality diets (Oderkirk 1996). Enzymes are given for seven different goals, and perhaps a few more.

These benefits are identical to the objectives for human nutritional health care. So apparently these goals are the foundation of universal optimal digestion and nutritional wealth. And digestive enzymes are key in making it happen.

For enzymes that use this same strategy in humans
see The No-Fenol File

For a diet that uses this same strategy in humans
see Specific Carbohydrate Diet


Pet nutrition and veterinarians

Pet owners take a personal interest in their animal’s health. Veterinarians know that just like in humans, the natural ability of dogs and cats to make their own digestive enzymes slows down with age. Many enzyme products for pets contain the same mix of enzymes of the same quality grade as in products for humans.

And like their human counterparts, pet food and pet diets are far more processed today than diets containing more raw food in years gone by. This leaves our furry friends in the same predicament we face - a cooked diet deficient in enzymes placing more stress on the body. Veterinarians are more readily recommending high-quality enzymes for their four-legged patients. Some animal nutritionists suggest adding more raw foods into the diet as well. Maybe a little finely ground raw meat, raw vegetables, and even a bit of whole grains such as oats.

Anytime you change the diet, do it slowly so your pet won’t experience diarrhea as the microbe population shifts around. Animal caregivers know that if you try to rush detoxification or go ‘cold turkey’ on diets, or give mega-doses of supplements (which isn’t really prescribed or supported in animal medicine), you can overwhelm the system. Recovery may not be any faster, and in fact slower, than the slow-and-gentle approach.

No matter how good your diet is, or how many supplements you take, if nutrients never get digested, absorbed and used by the body, they won’t do any good for you or your pet’s health. For enzyme products for animals, consult your veterinarian or animal nutritionist.

Another notable issue with pet care is that enzymes are sought and recommended to help a dog or cat with degenerative diseases. Enzymes are given to increase T-cell production (cancer fighting cells), strengthen the immune system, increase white blood cells, balance chloresterol, pancreatitis, diabetes, viruses infections, chronic worms, and for clearing arteries of plaque. The same reasons as in people.

Is Fluffy getting the best digestive health treatment in the house?

see Links for more on Enzymes for Cats, Dogs and other Pets

Additional References
Growth and intestinal morphology of male turkeys as influenced by dietary supplementation of amylase and xylanase.
Ritz, C.W. Poultry science. Aug 1995. v. 74 (8);1329-1334.

Three diets, a control and two diets supplemented with an enzyme cocktail premix containing either amylase or xylanase, were each fed to 100 male poults (10 replicates of 10 poults per pen) from 0 to 5 wk of age to observe the effects upon body weight gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency. The amylase-supplemented diet significantly increased feed efficiency through the first 2 wk and significantly increased body weight gain and feed intake through the first 3 wk. Xylanase supplementation did not improve growth or feed efficiency over the control. Mean villus length within the jejunum and ileum was significantly increased at 2 and 3 wk of age by dietary supplementation of amylase when compared with the control and xylanase diets. These findings suggest that the increased growth associated with the amylase diet during 0 to 3 wk can, in part, be explained by the increase in absorptive surface area, allowing for increased digestion of available nutrients coupled with increased enzyme activity for carbohydrate degradation from the supplemental enzymes.


Endogenous amylase levels and response to supplemental feed enzymes in male turkeys from hatch to eight weeks of age.
Ritz, C.W. Hulet, R.M. B.B. Denbow, D.M. Poultry science.Aug 1995. v. 74 (8); 1317-1322.

Amylase and xylanase enzyme concentrations in the pancreas, small intestine, and crop were measured in Nicholas male poults fed diets with and without supplemental amylase and xylanase from 0 to 8 wk of age. Eight birds from each of three diets (control, amylase-supplemented, xylanase-supplemented) were killed every 3 d to determine the amylase and xylanase activity within the pancreas, small intestine, and crop. Pancreatic organ weight was not affected by diet, indicating an absence of dietary amylase effect upon pancreatic tissue growth. Pancreatic amylase activity was not consistently affected by diet. Amylase activity within the intestinal chyme increased sporadically with dietary amylase supplementation over the control and xylanase-supplemented diets. Increasing supplemental amylase activity levels may provide more conclusive evidence of an additive effect of dietary amylase and endogenous amylase activity. Xylanase supplementation within the feed did not affect endogenous amylase activity.


Safety evaluation of lipase derived from Rhizopus oryzae: summary of toxicological data.
Coenen, T.M.M.
Source Info Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association.Mar/Apr 1997. v. 35 (3/4) (ABBREV TITLE = Food chem. toxicol.)

Safety evaluation of a lipase expressed in Aspergillus oryzae.
Greenough, R.J.
Source Info Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association.Feb 1996. v. 34 (2) (ABBREV TITLE = Food chem. toxicol.)

An overview of the safety evaluation of the Rhizomucor miehei lipase enzyme.
Broadmeadow, A.
Source Info Food additives and contaminants : Analysis, surveillance, evaluation Control.Jan/Feb 1994. v. 11 (1) (ABBREV TITLE = Food addit. contam.)

Safety evaluation of a lipase expressed in Aspergillus oryzae.
FOOD AND CHEMICAL TOXICOLOGY; 34 (2). 1996. 161-166.

Safety evaluation of lipase derived from Rhizopus oryzae: Summary of toxicological data.

Effect of xylanase and beta-glucanase supplementation of wheat- or wheat- and barley-based diets on the performance of male turkeys.

Mathlouthi N, Juin H, Larbier M. Br Poult Sci. 2003 May;44(2):291-8.
INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly, France. PMID: 12828215 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The efficiency of a mixture of xylanase and beta-glucanase enzymes was evaluated in two separate experiments on growing turkeys offered diets based on wheat or wheat and barley. 2. In the first experiment, the addition of 560 and 2800 IU of xylanase and beta-glucanase, respectively, per kg of diet significantly improved feed efficiency in turkeys fed on wheat- and barley-based diet throughout the entire experiment (42 d). 3. In the second experiment, the enzyme mixture significantly increased N-corrected apparent metabolisable energy (AMEN) by approximately 5%. 4. Furthermore, the combination of xylanase and beta-glucanase significantly improved body weight gain and feed efficiency. Feed efficiency was increased by 2.94, 2.47 and 5.91% in diets based on 500 then 540 g of wheat/kg of diet, 394 then 384 g of wheat and 100 then 150 g of barley/kg of diet and 180 g of wheat and 300 then 350 g of barley/kg of diet, respectively. 5. This enzyme mixture decreased in vitro viscosity of wheat, barley and soybean meal, the effect being larger for wheat and barley than for soybean meal. 6. In conclusion, the supplementation of diets based on wheat and barley with xylanase and beta-glucanase significantly improved body weight gain and feed efficiency. Therefore, wheat and barley could be used more efficiently by turkeys in the presence of an appropriate enzyme preparation.

Effect of enzyme preparation containing xylanase and beta-glucanase on performance of laying hens fed wheat/barley- or maize/soybean meal-based diets.

Mathlouthi N, Mohamed MA, Larbier M.Br Poult Sci. 2003 Mar;44(1):60-6.
INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, Nouzilly, France. PMID: 12737227 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1. A commercial enzyme preparation (Quatrazyme HP) containing xylanase and beta-glucanase was examined in two laying hen experiments with wheat/barley- or maize-based diets. The activities of other enzymes were measured also. Starch, cell wall contents and effects of Quatrazyme HP on in vitro viscosity of wheat, barley, maize and soybean meal were determined. 2. In the first experiment, 90 ISA Brown laying hens at 28 weeks of age were given a wheat/barley basal diet with or without 20mg of Quatrazyme HP, which provided 560 and 2,800 IU of xylanase and beta-glucanase/kg diet. In the second experiment, 66 ISA Brown laying hens at 45 weeks of age were given a maize/soybean meal basal diet with or without 20 mg of Quatrazyme HP/kg diet for 9 weeks. Egg production, egg weight, egg mass, feed conversion ratio and change in body weight were recorded as response criteria. 3. There was a significant improvement in feed conversion ratio with enzyme supplementation. Birds given an enzyme-supplemented diet gained 86 g while those fed on the unsupplemented diet lost 103 g of their body weight by the end of the experiment. 4. The enzyme preparation did not affect either egg production, egg weight or egg mass of birds fed on the maize/soybean meal diet. However, a significant improvement in feed conversion ratio was detected. Birds on either the supplemented or unsupplemented diet exhibited an increase in their body weight at the end of the experiment. 5. Addition of xylanase and beta-glucanase decreased in vitro viscosity of wheat, barley, maize and soybean meal. This effect was greater for wheat and barley than for maize and soybean meal. 6. It was concluded that the beneficial effect of using an enzyme preparation containing xylanase and beta-glucanase is not limited to wheat/barley-based diets but also occurs with maize/soybean meal-based diets.


Bioefficacy of enzyme preparations containing beta-glucanase and xylanase activities in broiler diets based on barley or wheat, in combination with flavomycin.

Esteve-Garcia E, Brufau J, Perez-Vendrell A, Miquel A, Duven K.Poult Sci. 1997 Dec;76(12):1728-37. Department of Animal Nutrition, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries (IRTA), Centre de Mas Bove, Reus, Spain.

The objective of the study was to determine the effects of two enzyme preparations containing beta-glucanase and xylanase activities on barley- and wheat-based diets, respectively, for broilers, in combination with flavomycin. In addition, the stability of the enzyme preparations after pelleting was measured. Temperatures recorded during the pelleting process reached 75 to 80 C, and the activities recovered with respect to the amounts present in the mash feed before pelleting were 80% or higher. Two performance experiments were conducted simultaneously under the same conditions over 6 wk. In addition, intestinal viscosity and incidence of vent pasting were measured and carcasses were eviscerated to determine abdominal fat, carcass yield, and percentage weight of intestines and viscera. Twenty-four pens (12 per sex), each containing 75 chickens were used in each experiment. Wheat- or barley-based diets were supplemented with flavomycin and a xylanase or a beta-glucanase preparation, respectively, in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. In the wheat diets, xylanase and flavomycin improved feed efficiency, in parallel with a reduction of intestinal viscosity. Xylanase reduced the incidence of vent pasting and the percentage viscera, especially of intestines, and increased abdominal fat. In the barley diets, beta-glucanase and flavomycin improved feed conversion. beta-Glucanase also reduced intestinal viscosity and vent pasting. Both beta-glucanase and flavomycin reduced percentage intestines, but the effects were not additive. In general, the effects of the enzyme preparations and flavomycin were independent, except for percentage intestines with beta-glucanase.

Xylanase, beta-glucanase, and other side enzymatic activities have greater effects on the viscosity of several feedstuffs than xylanase and beta-glucanase used alone or in combination.

Mathlouthi N, Saulnier L, Quemener B, Larbier M.J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Aug 28;50(18):5121-7. INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, 37380 Nouzilly, France. PMID: 12188617 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of a pure xylanase, a pure beta-glucanase, a mix of the two pure enzymes, and a commercial enzyme preparation (Quatrazyme HP, Nutri-Tomen Les Ulis, France) on the viscosity exhibited by water-soluble nonstarch polysaccharides of several feedstuffs (Rialto wheat, Sideral wheat, Isengrain wheat, triticale, rye, barley, oats, corn, wheat bran, rice bran, wheat screenings, soybean meal, rapeseed meal, sunflower meal, and peas). The viscosity depended on the feedstuffs and varieties of the same feedstuff. There was a correlation (R (2) = 0.86) between viscosity of cereals and their arabinoxylan and beta-glucan contents. The correlation was greater (R (2) = 0.99) when the type of cereal was taken into account. The addition of pure xylanase significantly decreased the viscosity of all feedstuffs except sunflower meal (P < or = 0.05). However, pure beta-glucanase was unable significantly to decrease the viscosity of Isengrain wheat, corn, rice bran, wheat screenings, soybean meal, and sunflower meal. There was a greater decrease in viscosity with the combination of xylanase and beta-glucanase than with addition of xylanase or beta-glucanase alone. This synergistic action of xylanase and beta-glucanase was observed only in Rialto wheat, Sideral wheat, triticale, rye, barley, oats, and peas. Finally, the commercial enzyme preparation produced a greater reduction (P < or = 0.05) in viscosity for all feedstuffs compared to xylanase or beta-glucanase used alone or in combination. The greater effectiveness of the commercial enzyme preparation was due to the presence of side enzymatic activities (arabinofuranosidase, xylosidase, glucosidase, galactosidase, cellulase, and polygalacturonase).

Anti-nutritive effect of wheat pentosans in broiler chickens: roles of viscosity and gut microflora.

Choct M, Annison G.Br Poult Sci. 1992 Sep;33(4):821-34. Department of Animal Science, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.PMID: 1393677 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1. The mechanism of the anti-nutritive activity of isolated wheat pentosans was investigated by examining the roles of digesta viscosity and gut microflora in broiler chickens. 2. Wheat pentosans were isolated by alkaline extraction and purified by sequential treatment with pancreatin, alpha-amylase and lichenase, and high-speed centrifugation. Some of the pentosans were depolymerised using a beta-xylanase, which reduced the relative viscosity of the polysaccharides 4 fold. 3. Inclusion of 35 g alkali-extractable pentosans (containing 854 g arabinoxylans/kg DM) per kg diet significantly (P less than 0.05) depressed broiler performance and the viscosity of the digesta of these birds was significantly (P less than 0.05) higher than that of controls. Addition of the same amount of depolymerised pentosans had no significant effect on bird performance and had less effect on digesta viscosity. 4. Supplementation of the diet containing wheat pentosans (30 g/kg) with procaine penicillin (150 mg/kg) did not improve bird performance. 4. It is concluded that the wheat pentosans elicit their anti-nutritive activity predominantly through increasing the viscosity of digesta.


Xylanase and ß-glucanase supplementation improve conjugated bile acid fraction in intestinal contents and increase villus size of small intestine wall in broiler chickens fed a rye-based diet1
N. Mathlouthi*,2, J. P. Lallès, P. Lepercq, C. Juste and M. Larbier*. J. Anim. Sci. 2002. 80:2773-2779. © 2002 American Society of Animal Science

This study was performed with growing chickens (4 to 22 d of age) to evaluate the effects of feeding a rye-based diet supplemented with commercial enzyme preparation containing xylanase and ß-glucanase (Quatrazyme HP, Nutri-Tomen, France) on small intestine wall morphology, bile acid composition, nutrient digestibility, and bird performance compared with unsupplemented rye- or corn-based diets. The rye-based diet decreased (P 0.05) weight gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency and increased water intake compared with the corn-based diet. Moreover, rye consumption reduced crude fat and protein digestibility as well as apparent metabolizable energy (P 0.05). The small intestine wall showed that villus length, width, and surface were decreased in broiler chickens fed the rye-based diet compared with those fed the corn-based diet. However, crypt morphometry parameters were not affected by diet type. The concentration of conjugated bile acids in the small intestine contents of broiler chickens fed the rye-based diet was decreased (P 0.05) compared with those fed the corn-based diet. These findings suggest that feeding a rye-based diet reduces villus capacity for nutrient absorption and bile acid capacity for fat solubilization and emulsification, resulting in decreased bird performance. The addition of xylanase and ß-glucanase to the rye-based diet improved (P 0.05) weight gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency, and decreased water intake. The digestibility of nutrients and apparent metabolizable energy were also increased (P 0.05). Addition of xylanase and ß-glucanase increased (P 0.05) villus size and the villus height-to-crypt depth ratio, as well as the concentration of conjugated bile acids (P 0.05) in the small intestine contents. Exogenous enzymes improved nutrient digestibility and broiler chicken performance, probably by improving the absorption capacity of the small intestine through increased villus surface and intestinal concentration of conjugated bile acids.

"Impact of Exogenous Enzyme on Small Intestine Morphology.
Villus length, width, and surface were reduced (P 0.05) in the birds fed the rye-based diet compared with those fed the corn-based diet (Table 5). The results of the current study showed that crypt depth, width, and surface were not affected by the type of diet (Table 5). The addition of xylanase and ß-glucanase increased (P 0.05) villus size in broiler chickens fed the rye-based diet, and this was similar to villus size in those fed the corn-based diet. However, the addition of xylanase and ß-glucanase had no effect on crypt size (Table 5). The villus length-to-crypt depth ratio was lower in broiler chickens fed the rye-based diet than in those fed the corn- or rye-based diet supplemented with xylanase and ß-glucanase (Table 5). "


Effect of enzyme supplementation of a rye-based diet on xylanase activity in the small intestine of broilers, on intestinal crypt cell proliferation and on nutrient digestibility and growth performance of the birds.

Silva SS, Smithard RR.Br Poult Sci. 2002 May;43(2):274-82. PMID: 12047093. Department of Biological and Nutritional Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE].

1. A study was undertaken to investigate the susceptibility to peptic digestion of exogenous xylanase (EC from Trichoderma longibrachiatum, added to a rye-based diet for broiler chickens, in order to elucidate its possible site of action. 2. It was also designed to investigate the effects of the enzyme (plus exogenous protease EC 3.4-24.28) when added to a rye-containing diet (60% rye/kg diet) on crypt cell proliferation in the mucosa of the small intestine, on short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentrations in the small intestine digesta and in portal blood and on nutrient digestibilities. 3. In Experiment 1, the enzymes were added at activities 10x and 30x those recommended in commercial practice, but in Experiment 2 the activities were the recommended levels. 4. A significant proportion (estimated to be 15 to 20%) of the xylanase added at the higher concentration (15,000 and 45,000 units/kg diet) remained active in the small intestine of the growing chicken. 5. The crypt cell proliferation rate in birds fed on the control diet (45 cells/2 h) was significantly higher than in birds fed on the diets supplemented with enzyme at the higher level (29 and 33 cells/ 2 h), but there was no significant effect on SCFA. In birds fed on the diet supplemented with enzyme at the commercial level there was no clear-cut effect on crypt cell proliferation but exogenous xylanase could be detected in the small intestine. Intestinal fluid viscosity was reduced and growth performance of the birds was improved by the supplementation with exogenous enzymes. 6. Part of the improvement in growth performance could be ascribed to a 25% increase in the digestibility of nitrogen and a doubling of the digestibility of fat.


Effects of dietary fat type, pentosan level and xylanase supplementation on digestibility of nutrients and metabolizability of energy in male broilers.

Danicke S, Simon O, Jeroch H, Keller K, Glaser K, Kluge H, Bedford MR. Arch Tierernahr. 1999;52(3):245-61. Institut of Animal Nutrition and Planned Crop Storage, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. PMID: 10553488 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A complete two by two by four factorial design was used to examine the main effects of dietary fat type (10% soya oil or 10% beef tallow), xylanase supplementation (with or without Avizyme 1300 at 1 g/kg diet) and pentosan level (7.7 g/kg, 11.0 g/kg, 14.3 g/kg and 17.6 g/kg soluble pentosans, respectively, by varying wheat/rye proportions) as well as their interactions on intestinal chyme conditions, nutrient digestibility and nutrient utilization in male broilers. Nutrient digestibilities for the total digestive tract and at various sites of small intestine were measured during the period from day 18 to 20 of age and at day 21 of age, respectively, using a marker technique. Jejunal and ileal supernatant viscosity increased in an exponential manner as dietary pentosan concentration was increased. This increase was more pronounced in tallow fed birds but was also found in enzyme treated groups albeit at a much lower level. Xylanase activity was still detectable in the ileum of birds fed enzyme supplemented diets but its activity was found to decrease as dietary pentosan content increased. Digestibility of crude protein and that of some amino acids at the terminal ileum was decreased as dietary pentosan content was increased and significantly improved by xylanase addition. No fat effect and no interactions were detected at this site. In contrast, measurements made over the whole gastrointestinal tract showed significantly lower protein and amino acid digestibility values for tallow fed birds, and significant higher enzyme effects especially in diets with higher pentosan concentrations. Nitrogen-corrected apparent metabolizable energy (AMEN) content and net protein utilization decreased with increasing dietary pentosan content and were significantly improved by xylanase addition and were lower in tallow fed birds. Again, xylanase effects were found to be more pronounced for tallow fed birds and at higher pentosan concentrations.


Effects of dietary fat type and xylanase supplementation to rye-based broiler diets on selected bacterial groups adhering to the intestinal epithelium. on transit time of feed, and on nutrient digestibility.

Danicke S, Vahjen W, Simon O, Jeroch H.Poult Sci. 1999 Sep;78(9):1292-9. Institut fur Tierernahrung und Vorratshaltung, Landwirtschaftliche Fakultat, Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany. PMID: 10515360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Two experiments were conducted to examine the effects of different fat types, i.e., soybean oil (S) and beef tallow (T), in rye-based broiler diets, either unsupplemented (-) or supplemented (+) with xylanase (Avizyme 1300 at 1 g/kg diet), on selected bacterial groups adhering to the epithelium of crop, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (Experiment 1, 16 d of age), on mean retention time (MRT) of digesta, and on digestibility of N and dry matter in successive segments of the digestive tract (Experiment 2, 24 d of age). Live weight of enzyme-treated and S-fed chickens was significantly higher than that for unsupplemented or T-fed birds, respectively, in both experiments. In Experiment 1, a reduction in bacterial colonization from crop to duodenum was followed by a continuous increase as far as the ileum. Xylanase supplementation significantly reduced enterobacteria and total anaerobe microbes with a similar trend for Gram-positive cocci and enterococci. The latter two groups were significantly enhanced in birds fed T. In Experiment 2, xylanase supplementation resulted in a decrease in MRT in several segments of the digestive tract. This effect was most pronounced in the small intestine, where MRT of 268, 217, 241, and 209 min in groups S-, S+, T-, and T+, respectively, were measured. Apparent digestibility of N and dry matter was slightly improved by xylanase supplementation in the jejunum and ileum. Nitrogen digestibility by the terminal ileum was 80.3, 83.7, 79.4, and 82.2% for the S-, S+, T-, and T+ groups, respectively, and dry matter digestibility amounted to 61.2, 65.5, 62.1, and 64.0%, respectively.


Interactions between dietary fat type and xylanase supplementation when rye-based diets are fed to broiler chickens 2. Performance, nutrient digestibility and the fat-soluble vitamin status of livers.

Danicke S, Simon O, Jeroch H, Bedford M.Br Poult Sci. 1997 Dec;38(5):546-56. Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg, Institut fur Tierernahrung und Vorratshaltung, Halle, Germany.PMID: 9511000 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1. The interactions between dietary fat type and xylanase supplementation of rye-based diets were investigated using a 2 x 2 factorial design in which a rye-based diet (610 g rye/kg) was combined with 100 g/kg of soya oil or beef tallow, with or without xylanase supplementation at 3000 IU/kg, and fed to 1-d-old male broilers for 35 d. Growth, nutrient digestibility and AMEN values were determined and the vitamin status of livers assessed at various ages. 2. There were significant interactions between crude fat and xylanase supplementation on the faecal digestibility of crude fat and crude protein. Fat digestibility was improved by xylanase in both fat type groups but to a greater extent for the tallow diets. However, the effects were found to be significant only for oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids. Similarly, protein digestibility and AMEN values were significantly improved by xylanase, but only for the tallow diet. 3. Ileal digestibility of nitrogen and amino acids also were affected by enzyme for both fat type diets, the effect generally being more pronounced for the tallow diet. 4. The deposition of the fat soluble vitamins A and E in livers was significantly increased by xylanase supplementation and was also better for soya oil than for tallow. 5. Xylanase supplementation increased the digestibility of insoluble pentosans whereas for the soluble pentosans the opposite effect was noted. 6. Without xylanase supplementation the tallow-based diet caused high mortality. Liveweight gain and the efficiency of food utilisation were greatest in the soya oil-based, xylanase-supplemented diet, followed by the unsupplemented soya oil-, supplemented tallow- and unsupplemented tallow-based diets.


Effects on chick performance and nutrient digestibility of an endo-xylanase added to a wheat- and rye-based diet in relation to fat source.

Langhout DJ, Schutte JB, Geerse C, Kies AK, De Jong J, Verstegen MW. Br Poult Sci. 1997 Dec;38(5):557-63. TNO Institute for Animal Nutrition and Meat Quality (ILOB), Wageningen, The Netherlands.PMID: 9511001 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

1. A study with growing chicks investigated the effects of an inclusion of an endo-xylanase preparation (LYXASAN) to a wheat- and rye-based diet on performance and nutrient digestibility in relation to the fat source. 2. The basal diet contained 500 g wheat and 100 g rye/kg of diet. The basal diet was supplemented with either 65 g soya oil/kg or 60 g blended animal fat and 5 g soya oil/kg. 3. Endo-xylanase added to the soya oil diet did not affect weight gain, but there was a numerical improvement in food conversion efficiency which was not statistically significant. When the endo-xylanase preparation was added to the blended animal fat diet, both weight gain and food utilisation were improved by 9.5% and 6.0%, respectively (P < 0.05). 4. Digestibilities of organic matter, crude fat, crude fibre and NFE were not significantly affected by adding endo-xylanase to the soya oil diet. However, when endo-xylanase was included in the blended animal fat diet, digestibility of organic matter, crude fat, crude fibre and NFE were improved (P < 0.05). The improvement in fat digestibility was the most pronounced, amounting to 9.4%. Nitrogen retention and metabolisable energy content were improved significantly by the addition of an endo-xylanase to the animal fat diet (P < 0.05), by 6.6% and 6.5% respectively. 5. From the results of this study, it can be concluded that the effects on chick performance and nutrient digestibility of a dietary endo-xylanase in a wheat- and rye-based diet are influenced to a considerable degree by the type of fat in the diet.


Enzyme supplementation of a poultry diet containing rye and wheat.

Pettersson D, Aman P.Br J Nutr. 1989 Jul;62(1):139-49. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management, Uppsala. PMID: 2506922 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

A total of 360 1-d-old broiler chickens were fed on a diet based on rye and wheat in equal proportions without or with supplementation of increasing levels (0.11, 0.22, 0.44 and 0.88 g/kg) of a technical enzyme preparation containing pentosanase and beta-glucanase activities. In vitro investigations revealed that the enzyme preparation solubilized pentosans, increasing the relative viscosity of buffer extracts from enzyme-supplemented diets. Enzyme supplementation generally improved body-weight by approximately 27% at day 15 and 15% at day 27, increased feed intake by 15 and 8% respectively, and improved feed conversion efficiency by 10 and 5% respectively. There was also a decreased occurrence of sticky droppings. Enzyme supplementation increased the digestibility of organic matter, crude protein (nitrogen x 6.25) and starch measured in the last third of the small intestine, and of organic matter and crude fat measured in excreta. Solubilization of insoluble pentosans by the enzyme included led to negative digestibility values for soluble pentosans in the small intestine at the higher levels of supplementation. Most of the dietary fibre degradation observed occurred before the middle section of the small intestine, with some degradation of soluble fibre in the caeca and colon. The solubilization and disruption of feed endosperm cell walls by enzyme supplementation probably was primarily responsible for the observed improvements in digestibility and production results.


The effect of enzyme supplementation on the apparent metabolizable energy and nutrient digestibilities of wheat, barley, oats, and rye for the young broiler chick.

Friesen OD, Guenter W, Marquardt RR, Rotter BA. Poult Sci. 1992 Oct;71(10):1710-21. Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. PMID: 1454688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

The influence of enzyme supplementation on the bioavailable energy (AME(n)) and apparent digestibilities of lipid (ALD) and protein (APD) in young broiler chicks was examined for diets containing either wheat, hulled or hulless barley, naked oats, or spring rye. Dietary AME(n), APD, and ALD values were depressed (P less than or equal to .01) for all test grains (except hulled Bedford barley) as the inclusion rate of the grain replacing wheat increased. The antinutritives, beta-glucans (barley and oats) and pentosans (rye), had the most pronounced effect on ALD. The decreases in ALD were 43, 77, and 67% for chicks fed diets containing 70% Scout barley (hulless), Terra oats, and Gazelle rye, respectively, compared with those fed the control wheat diet. Enzyme supplementation increased (P less than or equal to .01) AME(n), APD, and ALD for all test cereals. The corresponding increases in the AME(n), of the enzyme-supplemented diets containing 70% HY320 wheat, Bedford barley, Scout barley, Terra oats, and Gazelle rye diets were 4, 7, 42, 33, and 14%, respectively, compared with their unsupplemented counterparts. Enzyme treatment also improved (P less than or equal to .01) weight gains and feed conversion efficiencies of chicks fed diets containing each of the cereals. Overall, the results demonstrate that the nutritive value of cereal grains such as wheat, barley, oats, and rye can be improved by the addition of crude fungal extracts to the diet of young chicks.

Enzymes in food production:

Enzyme Uses:


Ruminant Anatomy and Physiology

Digestion in Poultry II Carbohydrates, Vitamins and Minerals

Sacrosidase therapy for congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency.

Treem WR, McAdams L, Stanford L, Kastoff G, Justinich C, Hyams J. Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Duke Children's Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. PMID: 9932843 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine if sacrosidase, a liquid produced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae containing 6000 IU of sucrase activity per mg protein, prevented symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, gas, and bloating in patients with congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID) consuming a normal sucrose and carbohydrate-containing diet. METHODS: Twenty-eight children (aged 5 months to 11 years) underwent a randomized, double-blind trial consisting of two phases: 1) three sucrose breath H2 tests with three single-dose treatments (placebo, sacrosidase, and sacrosidase plus milk), and 2) a dose-response phase consisting of four multidose treatments, each for 10 days of full-strength sacrosidase, 1:10 dilution, 1:100 dilution, and 1:1000 dilution. Patients who weighed less than or equal to 15 kg received a dose of sacrosidase and those who weighed more than 15 kg received 2 ml. For the dose-response phase each patient consumed a normal diet. The number of stools and severity of symptoms were recorded daily for each concentration of sacrosidase administered and compared to a baseline period during which the patient took no sacrosidase and consumed a sucrose/starch-free diet. Data were analyzed using an ANOVA model and the nonparameter Wilcoxon signed-rank test. RESULTS: Breath H2 excretion decreased significantly when patients received sacrosidase or sacrosidase plus milk compared to placebo during sucrose breath tests. During the dose-response phase significant treatment differences were observed between the two higher concentrations and the two lower concentrations of sacrosidase for both total stools (p < 0.001) and total symptom score (p = 0.003). Higher concentrations of sacrosidase were associated with fewer stools and a greater number of formed or hard stools compared to lower concentrations and compared to the baseline period. Higher concentrations were also associated with fewer symptoms of gas, abdominal cramps, or bloating, but no differences in vomiting. The only significant adverse event was wheezing in one child with a history of asthma. CONCLUSIONS: Sacrosidase is a safe, effective, well-accepted treatment to prevent gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with CSID consuming a normal diet.



Digestion and Enzymes
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