Digestion and Enzymes
Dairy Increasing Villi

Animal Research

This independent site is for education and information about digestive enzymes. There is a large need to provide practical and general information on enzyme therapy for a wide range of uses.

Enzymes have been around a very long time. Hopefully this site will help reduce the learning curve.

Ideas, comments, and questions are welcome.

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Dairy Increases Absorptive Villi in Gut

Yogurt and dairy in the diet often bring about improvement in gut problems. For those having problem thoroughly digesting all the components in dairy, taking a dairy enzyme such as Peptizyde for dairy proteins or a lactase-containing product (Lacto by Enzymedica, Dairy-ease, etc) for dairy sugar may allow one to get the benefits of dairy without the problems associated with digesting certain components of dairy. Below is some research outlining how dairy can help heal a gut by improving the villi (the absorptive surfaces in the intestines and sites of certain enzyme production).

Influence of age on lipase, amylase, and protease activities in pancreatic tissue and intestinal contents of young turkeys.

Krogdahl A, Sell JL. Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011.
Poult Sci. 1989 Nov;68(11):1561-8. PMID: 2481853

Day-old male turkeys were fed either a reference diet with 12% sucrose or experimental diets with 12% tallow or 12% animal-vegetable blend (A-V fat) replacing sucrose until 56 days of age. Poults were sampled at 1 day of age and every 2 to 7 days thereafter for determination of enzyme activities of pancreas and contents of the proximal one-fourth of the small intestine. In pancreatic tissue, trypsin, protease, and lipase activities increased with age after a lag period of about 14 days. Amylase activity increased rapidly during the first 14 days. In intestinal contents, trypsin, protease, and amylase increased from Day 1 until Day 21. Development of intestinal lipase activity seemed to depend on dietary fat level. Low activities were observed with low fat diets throughout the study. With high fat diets, a lag period of about 3 wk was followed by a five-fold increase in lipase activity.

Effects of dietary pectin and fat on the small intestinal contents and exocrine pancreas of rats.

Forman LP, Schneeman BO.
J Nutr. 1980 Oct;110(10):1992-9. PMID: 6158561

The effects of dietary pectin and fat level on digestive enzyme activities in the pancreas and small intestine and on intestinal bile acid levels were investigated. In unfed rats, dietary pectin did not influence the pancreatic enzymes studied, but a higher level of corn oil in the diet lowered the amylase activity in the pancreas, increased pancreatic lipase activity and slightly lowered the chymotrypsin and trypsin activities. Diet did not change the dry weight of the pancreas. In the fed rats, dietary pectin increased the dry weight of the small gut wash plus the mucosal scraping. Dietary pectin increased the small intestinal lipase and chymotrypsin levels and at the low level of fat only, increased amylase and trypsin activities in the small intestine of fed rats. Intestinal lipase levels were higher and amylase levels lower in rats consuming the high level of corn oil. These results indicate that changes in dietary fat level led to changes in the amylase and lipase content of secreted pancreatic juice and that differences in absorption associated with diets containing pectin could be the result of increased material in the small intestine.

Alpha-amylase supplementation of broiler diets based on corn.

Gracia MI, Aranibar MJ, Lazaro R, Medel P, Mateos GG. Departamento de Produccion Animal, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Poult Sci. 2003 Mar;82(3):436-42. PMID: 12705405

A 42-d trial was conducted to study the influence of exogenous alpha-amylase on digestive and performance traits in broilers fed a corn-soybean meal diet. There were two treatments (control and alpha-amylase supplemented diet) and six replicates (14 Cobb male chicks caged together) per treatment. At 7 d of age, alpha-amylase supplementation improved daily gain by 9.4% (P < or = 0.05) and feed conversion by 4.2% (P < or = 0.01). At the end of the trial, birds fed the alpha-amylase-supplemented diet ate more and grew faster (P < or = 0.05) and hadbetter feed conversion (P < or = 0.10) than broilers fed the control diet. Also, alpha-amylase supplementation improved apparent fecal digestibility of organic matter and starch (P < or = 0.01) and AMEn of the diet (P < or = 0.001). However, no effects were detected for CP or fat digestibility. Nutrient digestibility and AMEn of the diet increased with age (P < or = 0.001); however, no interactions of alpha-amylase x age were observed for any trait. Coefficients of apparent ileal and fecal digestibility of starch at 28 d of age were similar, which indicated that most of the undigested starch was not fermented in the hindgut of the chick. alpha-Amylase supplementation reduced relative pancreas weight (P < or = 0.001) but did not affect the weight of the remaining organs. Age consistently reduced intestinal viscosity and relative weights of all the organs (P < or = 0.001). The data indicated that alpha-amylase supplementation of a corn-soybean meal diet improved digestibility of nutrients and performance of broilers.

The development of digestive capacity in young pigs: effects of weaning regimen and dietary treatment.

Efird RC, Armstrong WD, Herman DL.
J Anim Sci. 1982 Dec;55(6):1370-9. PMID: 6891700

In Exp. 1, 24 crossbred pigs were weaned at 21 d of age to either a 24% milk protein diet or a 24% soy protein diet, both of which were fed hourly in liquid form. In Exp. 2, 45 crossbred pigs were weaned at 21 d of age to either a 24% milk protein diet fed hourly in liquid form, the same diet fed ad libitum in dry form or a 24% protein, corn-soybean meal diet fed ad libitum in dry form. Pigs were killed at 7 or 14 d postweaning in Exp. 1 and 7, 14 or 21 d postweaning in Exp. 2. In both experiments, pigs fed milk based diets had faster weight gains and more efficient feed conversion ratios than pigs fed diets containing soy protein. All data are expressed as units per kilogram body weight. Pigs fed a soy protein diet tended to have a greater intestinal length than pigs fed milk protein diets. Growth of the pancreas in relation to body weight was greater in pigs fed diets containing soy protein than in pigs fed milk protein. Pigs fed a soy protein diet tended to have greater trypsin and chymotrypsin activities in the intestinal contents and lower activities in the pancreas than did pigs fed milk-based diets. These results suggest that soy-containing diets caused a greater secretion of trypsin and chymotrypsin into the intestine than did milk-containing diets.

Effects of dietary amines on small intestinal variables in neonatal pigs fed soy protein isolate.

Grant AL, Thomas JW, King KJ, Liesman JS. Dept. of Anim. Sci., Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.
J Anim Sci. 1990 Feb;68(2):363-71. PMID: 1690199

Six litters of newborn crossbred piglets were utilized to examine 1) the effects of substituting 20% of the protein of an all-milk protein liquid diet with a soy protein isolate (milk-soy diet) on small intestinal variables and 2) the effects of supplementing this milk-soy diet with 25 g of either putrescine or ethylamine per kilogram diet on small intestinal variables. Small intestinal xylose absorption tended to increase from wk 1 to wk 2 of age in pigs fed the milk, putrescine and ethylamine diets, but not in pigs fed the milk, putrescine and ethylamine diets, but not in pigs fed the unsupplemented milk-soy diet. Crypt depth in pigs fed the milk-soy diet tended to be less (9.4%; P greater than .10) than the crypt depth in pigs fed the other diets, but mitotic index was not different (P greater than .10) among diets. Mucosal protein, DNA and RNA concentrations and mucosal brush border sucrase and cytosolic dipeptidase activities tended to be least in pigs fed the putrescine and ethylamine diets. Concentration of mucosal putrescine was greatest (P less than .002) in the distal regions of the small intestine of pigs fed putrescine. Mucosal ornithine decarboxylase activity was inhibited by putrescine (P less than .02), but it was not affected by the soybean protein isolate used in this study. Supplementing soy protein isolate diets with amines may enhance intestinal absorption and enterocyte proliferation.

Effects of dietary amines on the small intestine in calves fed soybean protein.

Grant AL, Holland RE, Thomas JW, King KJ, Liesman JS. Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48824.
J Nutr. 1989 Jul;119(7):1034-41. PMID: 2754510

An experiment was conducted using 16 Holstein male calves from 4 to 21 d of age to compare 1) the effects of an all-milk protein milk replacer (MPR) and a milk replacer with 20% of the protein from soy protein concentrate (SPC) on morphological and enzymic small intestinal variables, and 2) the effects of SPC plus putrescine (SPP) or SPC plus ethylamine (SPE) on intestinal variables. Small intestinal absorption, based on xylose absorption tests, was greater in calves fed MPR than in those fed SPC (P less than 0.01) and was intermediate in SPP- and SPE-fed calves. Small intestinal segments were surgically excised from the proximal and distal jejunum of all calves at 7, 14 and 21 d of age. Villus length tended to be greatest in calves fed MPR, and mitotic index was least in SPC-fed calves (P less than 0.05). Mucosal protein concentration was 46, 41, 44 and 44 micrograms/mg mucosa for calves fed MPR, SPC, SPP and SPE, respectively. The ratio of mucosal protein:RNA was greatest in calves fed MPR, least in those fed SPC at d 7 (P less than 0.01) and d 14 (P less than 0.05), and intermediate in calves fed SPP and SPE. In proximal jejunum, activity of mucosal ornithine decarboxylase (ODC, EC; the rate-limiting enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis) in calves fed SPP was less than 50% of that in calves fed MPR, SPC or SPE. The activity of lactase (EC and ODC in distal jejunum was 50% less in calves fed soybean protein than in those fed MPR.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)