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Fiber in poultry nutrition

Dietary fiber (DF) was considered an antinutritional factor due to its adverse effects on feed intake and nutrient digestibility. However, with increasing evidence, scientists have found that DF has enormous impacts on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) development, digestive physiology, including nutrient digestion, fermentation, and absorption processes of poultry. It may help maintain the small and large intestine’s integrity by strengthening mucosal structure and functions and increasing the population and diversity of commensal bacteria in the GIT. DF is composed of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), oligosaccharides, and lignin that scape digestion and enzymatic hydrolysis. Increasing DF content benefits digestive physiology by stimulating GIT development and enzyme production. And the inclusion of fiber at a moderate level in diets also alters poultry growth performance. It improves gut health by modulating beneficial microbiota in the large intestine and enhancing immune functions.
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