Functional Amino Acids and Fatty Acids for Enhancing Production Performance of Sows and Piglets Academic Article uri icon


  • The growth and health of the fetus and neonate are directly influenced by the nutritional and physiological status of sows. Sows are often under catabolic conditions due to restrict feeding program during pregnancy and low voluntary feed intake during lactation. The current restrict feeding program, which aims at controlling energy intake during gestation, results in an inadequate supply of dietary protein for fetal and mammary gland growth. Low voluntary feed intake during lactation also causes massive maternal tissue mobilization. Provision of amino acids and fatty acids with specific functions may enhance the performance of pregnant and lactating sows by modulating key metabolic pathways. These nutrients include arginine, branched-chain amino acids, glutamine, tryptophan, proline, conjugated linoleic acids, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosapentaenoic acid, which can enhance conception rates, embryogenesis, blood flow, antioxidant activity, appetite, translation initiation for protein synthesis, immune cell proliferation, and intestinal development. The outcome is to improve sow reproductive performance as well as fetal and neonatal growth and health. Dietary supplementation with functional amino acids and fatty acids holds great promise in optimizing nutrition, health, and production performance of sows and piglets. (Supported by funds from Texas Tech, USDA, NLRI-RDA-Korea, and China NSF).

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, S. W., Mateo, R. D., Yin, Y., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 117
  • 119

publication date

  • February 2007