Impact of dietary zinc:copper ratio on the postprandial net portal appearance of these minerals in pigs

Published on: 4/1/2020
Author/s : Danyel Bueno Dalto, Isabelle Audet, and J. Jacques Matte. / Sherbrooke Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke, QC J1M 0C8, Canada.


The present study compared the net intestinal absorption of zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) after meals containing different dietary ratios among these trace elements. Ten 46-kg pigs were used in a cross-over design to assess the 10-h net portal-drained viscera (PDV) flux of serum Cu and Zn after ingestion of boluses containing ZnSO4 and CuSO4 in different Zn:Cu ratios (mg:mg): 120:20; 200:20; 120:8; and 200:8. Arterial Zn concentrations peaked within the first hour post-meal and responses were greater with 200 (0.9 to 1.8 mg/L) than with 120 mg (0.9 to 1.6 mg/L) of dietary Zn (dietary Zn × time, P = 0.05). Net PDV flux of Zn was greater (P = 0.02) with 200 than with 120 mg of dietary Zn and tended to be greater (P = 0.10) with 20 than with 8 mg of dietary Cu. The cumulative PDV appearance of Zn (% of dietary intake) was greater with 120 than 200 mg of dietary Zn from 8 h post-meal (P ≤ 0.04) and with 20 than 8 mg of dietary Cu from 7 h post-meal (P ≤ 0.05). At the end of the postprandial period (10 h), estimated PDV appearance of Zn was 16.0%, 18.4%, 12.0%, and 15.3% of Zn intake for 120:8, 120:20, 200:8, and 200:20 ratios, respectively. For Cu, irrespective of treatment, arterial values varied (P < 0.01) by less than 5% across postmeal times. Net PDV flux was not affected by treatments (P ≥ 0.12), but the value for ratio 120:20 was different from zero (P = 0.03). There was an interaction dietary Zn × dietary Cu on cumulative PDV appearance of Cu (% of dietary intake) at 30 min post-meal (P = 0.04) and thereafter at 3 h post-meal (P = 0.04). For the whole postprandial period (10 h), estimated PDV appearance of Cu was 61.9%, 42.1%, −17.1%, and 23.6% of Cu intake for 120:8, 120:20, 200:8, and 200:20 ratios, respectively. In conclusion, the present dietary amounts and ratios of Zn and Cu can affect the metabolic availability of both trace minerals for pigs. Ratios with 120 mg of dietary Zn maximized the postintestinal availability of both Zn and Cu.

Key words: copper, dietary ratio, intestinal absorption, minerals, pigs, zinc.


Abstract published in Journal of Animal Science 2019.97:3938–3946. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz238.

Veterinary, specialist in agribusiness, with MSc. and PhD. in Animal Science (nutritional additives for weaned pigs and mineral/vitamin nutrition for gestating sows, respectively). Currently, He´s a post-doctorate fellow at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada working with minerals and vitamins for neonate pigs and also, the bioavalability of vitamin B12 in growing pigs as a model for human nutrition.
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