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The Role of Vitamins as Co-factors and Antioxidants in Immunity and Gut Health

Published: April 7, 2021
By: Doug Korver / Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB

The importance of vitamin nutrition in poultry feeding has been recognized for decades, yet precise vitamin requirements for modern, high producing have not been investigated. Because of their low inclusion rates, vitamins have a relatively small impact on the cost of feed. Many vitamins lose activity over time or under high-temperature feed processing. Vitamins, especially the water-soluble vitamins, are tolerated at many times the established minimum recommended levels. Finally, the standard minimum recommendations published in sources such as the 1994 Nutrient Requirements of Chickens (NRC) are based largely on achieving maximum growth or egg production, rather than the optimization of product yield, quality, or bird health. Therefore commercial nutritionists generally including large safety margins for each vitamin.

Most vitamin requirement studies in poultry were completed before the 1980’s; few classical vitamin requirement studies have been conducted since then. Major advances in efficiency of meat and egg production have changed the context for vitamin nutrition. Increased production efficiency without concomitant increases in vitamin supplementation implies an actual reduction in vitamin intake relative per unit of product produced. The global move towards antibiotic-free poultry meat production, and extended laying cycles for layers increases the importance of the immune system, and gut health in particular. The role of vitamins with particular impacts on immunity and gut integrity (specifically vitamins A, D and E) will be reviewed in the context of opportunities in the face of the challenges of modern poultry production.


This abstract will be presented at the 2021 Animal Nutrition Conference of Canada. Check out all the lectures and speakers here.

More information in https://animalnutritionconference.ca/.

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Doug Korver
University of Alberta
Influencers who recommended :
Jose Mauro Arrieta Acevedo
Doug Korver
University of Alberta
8 de abril de 2021
I agree that it is well understood that these vitamins are involved in immunity and gut integrity. The question remains, however: "how do we strategically manipulate dietary levels to achieve specific outcomes?". Deficiencies in these nutrients can impair various aspects of immune function, but once the requirement has been met, are there further responses in targeted immune effects that can be achieved? What about interactions, or negative effects of over-supplementation, which have also been demonstrated? In the context of an increasing reliance on host immunity (i.e. removal of growth-promoting antibiotics), do we know enough to strategically apply what is known, or identify the knowledge gaps that remain?
DR.R.N.Sreenivas Gowda
Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University
7 de abril de 2021
The role of vitamins with particular impacts on immunity and gut integrity (specifically vitamins A, D and E) is well known in poultry nutrition in building immunity
Ensapuh Veterinary Services limited
26 de junio de 2021

The use of vitamins is necessary in immune promotion.
I'm presently running a field experiment on the use of vitamins, essential oils and improved IBH, ND and Ecoli vaccination on 2 broiler farms located in south West Nigeria.
No antibiotics use after day 4 (brooding stage).
The record is impressive
Just about 1.3% mortality by day 28.

We want to prevent antibiotics residue, AMR and improve food safety

Dr. Adebayo Awoyele

Satish Sharma
Anthem Biosciences Private Limited
21 de junio de 2021
Dear Doug, Vitamins are indeed good and essential for building immunity and gut integrity. How do you see the new bioavailable formats ( analog / metabolite) of Vitamins like the folate ( Vit B9) , Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate ( Vit B6) , Menaquinone ( Vit K) etc. We believe in the times to come such bioavailable actives can be of good alternatives as performance actives.
mohd arif
27 de mayo de 2021
Vitamin E and c is a good for poultry. It's rich source of immunity.
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