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Intestinal Health

The important role good intestinal health plays in production animals

Genetics, nutrition and management are vital when it comes to modern animal production.

In order for production animals to reach their genetic potential they need to be able to adequately digest and absorb nutrients in the feed, sometimes under severe conditions of stress.

A healthy intestinal tract is an absolute key requirement to meeting this challenge.

For more than 60 years antibiotics have been used at sub-therapeutic levels in feed to control harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract, thereby promoting growth and feed conversion performance.

However, the widespread use of antibiotics in both human medicine and agriculture have resulted in the spread of resistant pathogens. Regulations in various territories globally have therefore banned the use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs) in feed. In addition, continuous improvements in animal nutrition, housing and management have further decreased the impact of AGPs.

Managing intestinal health cost-effectively without the use of AGPs has become a modern-day possibility.

The three gears of intestinal health in production animals

The intestinal health of production animals is based on the following three gears:

Intestinal microbiota

The intestinal microbiota of production animals consists of a large, diverse community of microorganisms living in the intestinal tract. To keep the intestinal microbiota healthy and prevent bacteria and toxins from entering the body while still allowing for the absorption of nutrients, the intestine is lined with a single layer of cells called the intestinal enterocytes.


Intestinal barrier (integrity)

Intestinal enterocytes are bound together by intestinal tight junctions (trans membrane proteins) to form the intestinal barrier.


Intestinal immunity

Assisting the intestinal barrier at preventing toxins and bacteria from entering the body is the largest immune organ in the body, the intestinal immunity. The intestinal immunity is often the first line of defence against the invasion of pathogens.


Kemin’s Three-Geared Approach To Intestinal Health

Kemin intestinal health is based on a holistic three-geared approach that helps to maintain the health of production animals’ intestinal tracts. Each “gear” represents one of the three natural defences of the intestine, namely the intestinal microbiota, intestinal barrier and intestinal immunity, and each of these are dependent on each other for optimum results. This approach sets into motion a continuous loop that encourages improved intestinal health.