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Do not neglect calcium: a systematic review and meta-analysis (meta-regression) of its digestibility and utilisation in growing and finishing pigs

Lookup NU author(s): Maciek Misiura, Dr Joao Filipe, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Calcium (Ca) digestibility and utilisation in growing pigs are not well understood, and are usually neglected in diet formulation. This has implications not only for the accurate determination of its requirements, but also for its interactions with other nutrients. A systematic review and meta-analysis (meta-regression) of published trials were carried out to quantify factors affecting Ca absorption and utilisation, and to derive an estimate of Ca endogenous excretion. The analysis was carried out on the data from 40 studies, corresponding to 201 treatments performed on 1204 pigs. The results indicated that whilst Ca absorption and retention (g/kg of BW per day) increased with increasing Ca intake (p<0.001), non-phytate-Phosphorus intake (p<0.001) and exogenous phytase supplementation (p<0.001), these values decreased with increasing phytate-Phosphorus intake (p<0.05). Interactions between exogenous phytase and Ca intake indicating reduced efficacy of this enzyme (p<0.001), and between phytate-Phosphorus intake and exogenous phytase, counteracting the direct negative effect of phytate-Phosphorous (p<0.05) on Ca absorption and retention, were also detected. There were no effects of animal-related characteristics, such as pig genotype in Ca absorption and retention. The large amount of variance explained in Ca absorption (90%) and retention (91%) supported our choice of independent variables. Endogenous Ca losses obtained via linear regression were 239 mg/kg of DMI (95% CI 114, 364). These outcomes advance the current understanding of Ca digestibility and utilisation, and should contribute towards establishing requirements for digestible Ca. Consequently, pig diets will be more correctly formulated if digestible Ca values are used in estimating requirements for Ca.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Misiura MM, Filipe JAN, Walk CL, Kyriazakis I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2018

Volume: 119

Issue: 11

Pages: 1207-1219

Print publication date: 14/06/2018

Online publication date: 03/04/2018

Acceptance date: 14/02/2018

Date deposited: 15/02/2018

ISSN (print): 0007-1145

ISSN (electronic): 1475-2662

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007114518000612


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