Biotronic GutPower in Swine - Innovation on the Horizon

The main ingredients of Biotronic® GutPower are butyric, caprylic and capric acids in the protected glycerides form. The beneficial form of protection guarantees gastric by-pass and slow release of acids in the intestine where all acids become active. Butyric acid is a fuel for the enterocytes. It modifi es gut structure by enlarging villi length and crypt depth which essentially improves nutrient absorption.
calendar icon 16 July 2009
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Butyric acid increases enzymatic activity, enhances the reparation of gut wall lesions caused by intestinal diseases and nutritional imbalances and enhances barrier function of gut epithelium. Butyric, caprylic and capric acids act as antibacterials in the gut, especially caprylic and capric acids, are very strong antimicrobials at the higher pH value of the intestine. Moreover, triglycerides of caprylic and capric acids are easily absorbed from the gut, supplying the animal with an immediate boost of energy.

Butyric acid is a feed additive that is able to infl uence gut health resulting in better performance. Due to the unpleasant persistent odor of butyric acid, protection of the product is needed. Another reason for protection is to obtain complete intestinal arrival of butyric acid and subsequent release of the active substance in the small intestine. Encapsulation of acids is a known form of protection, however butyric acid content in well encapsulated products can be only relatively low

Perfect Protection

The most beneficial protection is in the form of glycerides which is a chemical compound of acids and glycerol. The advantage of this protection is a high amount of active ingredients - about 78% (Figure 1). The glycerol-acid compound is not influenced by the pH level or digestive enzymes of the stomach; therefore these compounds reach the small intestine where the gradual release of the acids through the action of lipases takes place.

Figure 1. Protection of acids in form of glycerides

Mode of Action

Biotronic® GutPower increases absorptive surface of intestine

Butyric acid is an efficient nutrient for the intestinal mucosa, increasing the density and length of villi and enlarging the absorptive surface of the intestine. Figure 2 shows the part of intestinal wall, villus and enterocytes.

Figure 2. Intestinal wall

Prof. Claus from University Hohenheim is one of the scientists who investigated the infl uence of butyric acid on changes of epithelial cells. A trial was carried out on 75 day old pigs over a 5 days period. The study found that butyric acid increases the villus height, villus area and number of villi per plica signifi - cantly in comparison to the negative control group (Table 1).

Table 1. Influence of butyrates on morphological characteristics of jejunum
% Improvement
Villus height, nm
Villus area, mm2
Villus number
Figures with different superscripts are statistically different (P<0.01)

Butyric acid also infl uences the balance of cell formation (mitosis) and cell death (apoptosis), and as a result more epithelial cells are active in producing digestive enzymes and absorbing nutrients. When talking about cell regeneration, it has to be mentioned that the mucosal layer is completely regenerated within a few days. About 30% of nutritive energy is spent on the gut. By improving intestinal metabolism part of this energy can be saved for performance.

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