Effect of N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation in parturition feed for sows on metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance

The current pilot study assessed the influence of N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) on insulin sensitivity, glucose and fat metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance of sows in the peripartal period.
Wednesday 6 April 2011 (7 years 18 days ago)
The current pilot study assessed the influence of N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) on insulin sensitivity, glucose and fat metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance of sows in the peripartal period. At day 105 of gestation, 25 sows were randomly assigned to the control (n = 13) or the DMG group (n = 12). Sows from the DMG group were supplemented with 1 g DMG/kg feed until day 3 of lactation. After an overnight fast 1 day after farrowing, a blood sample of each sow was drawn. The plasma was analyzed for insulin, glucose, fructosamine, leptin, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) and triglycerides (TG) and an oral glucose tolerance test was performed. A rectal feces sample was collected and the apparent fecal digestibility (AFD) of crude fat (CFAT), crude protein (CP) and nitrogen-free extract (NFE) was calculated after proximate analyses. Finally, a colostrum sample was collected from each sow and analyzed for the presence of DMG. Reproductive performance parameters were recorded.


The results showed an improvement in the AFD of CFAT, CP and NFE when DMG was supplemented. This beneficial effect confirms the hypothesis that DMG acts as an emulsifying agent. The improvement in digestibility in the DMG group was accompanied by a numerical increase in plasma TG (P = 0.067).


Plasma NEFA concentrations were not different between treatment groups. DMG supplementation neither affected glucose clearance nor influenced plasma insulin, glucose, fructosamine or leptin levels. TBARS and FRAP also remained unaffected, despite previously reported anti-oxidative properties of DMG. Furthermore, no significant impact on reproductive performance could be recorded. In conclusion, DMG supplementation significantly improved nutrient digestibility. Possible beneficial effects on energy metabolism and reproductive performance of sows should be tested when DMG is supplemented for a longer period of time or at a higher dose.

A. Cools, D. Maes, J. Buyse, I. D. Kalmar, J.-A. Vandermeiren and G. P. J. Janssens. Effect of N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation in parturition feed for sows on metabolism, nutrient digestibility and reproductive performance.animal (2010), 4: 2004-2011.

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