Decreased nutrient digestibility due to viscosity is independent of the amount of dietary fibre fed to growing pigs

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Fibre content and its effect on chyme viscosity are associated with changes in the digestive system of humans and pigs. However, it is unclear if fibre content and viscosity affect nutrient utilization and intestinal function independently or interactively. Therefore, we evaluated apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of nutrients and intestinal function in 36 ileal-cannulated barrows fed for 29 days either corn-soy (CSBM) or high-fibre CSBM+30% distillers dried grains with solubles (CSBM+DDGS) modified to three levels of viscosity by adding 5% non-viscous cellulose (CEL), 6.5% medium-viscous carboxymethylcellulose (MCMC) or 6.5% high-viscous CMC (HCMC). Digesta was collected on days 27 and 28 and intestinal samples on day 29. Feeding CMC, regardless of fibre content, increased viscosity of whole digesta (P = 0.003) and digesta supernatant (P < 0.0001) compared with CEL. Feeding CSBM+DDGS or CMC decreased AID of dry matter (P = 0.003; P < 0.0001) and crude protein (P = 0.02; P < 0.0001) compared with CSBM or CEL. Feeding CMC regardless of fibre content increased crypt depth in jejunum (P = 0.02) and goblet cell area in ileum (P = 0.004) compared with CEL. Adding DDGS or CMC did not affect villus height and gene expression of jejunal monosaccharide and amino-acid transporters. Feeding HCMC, regardless of fibre content, elevated amylase activity by 46% and 50% in jejunal (P = 0.03) and ileal digesta (P = 0.01) compared with CEL. In summary, diets with increased viscosity decreased nutrient digestibility and induced intestinal changes that were independent of the amount of fibre fed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

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© 2021 Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Dietary fibre functionality
  • Digestive physiology
  • Monogastric animals
  • Nutrient utilization

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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