Meta-analysis of phosphorus utilization by growing pigs: effect of dietary phosphorus, calcium and exogenous phytase

M. P. Létourneau-Montminya1, C. Jondrevillea2, D. Sauvanta3 and A. Narcya4 c1

a1 Dairy and Swine Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sherbrooke, Quebec J1M 1Z3, Canada

a2 INRA, Nancy-Université, USC 340 Animal et Fonctionnalités des Produits Animaux, F-54500 Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France

a3 INRA, AgroParisTech, UMR791 Physiologie de la Nutrition et Alimentation, F-75231 Paris, France

a4 INRA, UR83 Recherches Avicoles, F-37380 Nouzilly, France


Optimizing phosphorus (P) utilization in pigs requires improving our capacity to predict the amount of P absorbed and retained, with the main modulating factors taken into account, as well as precisely determining the P requirements of the animals. Given the large amount of published data on P utilization in pigs, a meta-analysis was performed to quantify the impact of the different dietary P forms, calcium (Ca) and exogenous phytases on the digestive and metabolic utilization criteria for dietary P in growing pigs. Accordingly, the amount of phytate P (PP) leading to digestible P (g/kg) was estimated to be 21%, compared with 73% for non-phytate P (NPP) from plant ingredients and 80% for NPP from mineral and animal ingredients (P < 0.001). The increase in total digestible dietary P following the addition of microbial phytase (PhytM) from Aspergillus niger (P < 0.001) was curvilinear and about two times higher than the increase following the addition of plant phytase, which leads to a linear response (P < 0.001). The response of digestible P to PhytM also depends on the amount of substrate, PP (PhytM2 × PP, P < 0.001). The digestibility of dietary P decreased with dietary Ca concentration (P < 0.01) independently of phytase but increased with body weight (BW, P < 0.05). Although total digestible dietary P increased linearly with total NPP concentration (P < 0.001), retained P (g/kg), average daily gain (ADG, g/day) and average daily feed intake (ADFI, g/day) increased curvilinearly (P < 0.001). Interestingly, whereas dietary Ca negatively affected P digestibility, the effect of dietary Ca on retained P, ADG and ADFI depended on total dietary NPP (NPP × Ca, P < 0.01, P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Increasing dietary Ca reduced retained P, ADG and ADFI at low NPP levels, but at higher NPP concentrations it had no effect on ADG and ADFI despite a positive effect on retained P. Although the curvilinear effect of PhytM on digestible P increased with PP (P < 0.001), this effect was lessened by total NPP for ADG and ADFI (PhytM × NPP and PhytM2 × NPP, P < 0.05) and depended on both total NPP and Ca for retained P (PhytM2 × NPP × Ca, P < 0.01). This meta-analysis improves our understanding of P utilization, with major modulating factors taken into account. The information generated will be useful for the development of robust models to formulate environmentally friendly diets for growing pigs.

(Received August 24 2011)

(Accepted January 23 2012)

(Online publication March 16 2012)


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