Fat Coating of Calcium Butyrate Results in Extended Butyrate Release in the Gut of Broilers

Fat coating of butyrate results in absorption along the entire intestinal tract in broilers, offering an explanation for the described beneficial effects as a growth promoter, according to a team of Belgian and Dutch researchers.
calendar icon 27 May 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

Butyrate has been suggested as an alternative to antimicrobial growth promoters, according to Theo Niewold of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium and co-authors there and at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

In a paper in Livestock Science, they explain that the major target of antimicrobial growth promoters is thought to be the small intestine but that uncoated butyrate is metabolised proximal to the small intestine.

In this experiment, they demonstrate that fat coating of butyrate results in a similar release pattern as the stomach passage indicator octanoic acid.

They conclude that this suggests fat coating of butyrate indeed results in targeting the intestines distal of the stomach.

Niewold and co-authors report that they compared feeding uncoated versus fat coated [1-13C] labelled calcium butyrate, and compared the effect of butyrate coating with [1-13C] labelled octanoic acid, which is an established indicator of stomach passage.

By monitoring 13CO2 expiration continuously, they showed that the majority (about 80 per cent) of uncoated calcium butyrate is oxidised proximally of the small intestine, and that base line levels were reached after six hours.

Fat coating of calcium butyrate resulted in reduced proximal oxidation (to about 45 per cent), and in an extended release pattern of 13CO2 from butyrate similar to that of octanoic acid, and that the return to base line levels was extended to 12 hours.


van den Borne J.J.G.C., M.J.W. Heetkamp, J. Buyse and T.A. Niewold. 2015. Fat coating of Ca butyrate results in extended butyrate release in the gastrointestinal tract of broilers.Livestock Science. 175:96-100.

Further Reading

You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

May 2015

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.