Dietary supplementation with monosodium glutamate enhances milk production by lactating sows and the growth of suckling piglets. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that increasing dietary content of glutamate through addition of monosodium glutamate (MSG) enhances milk production by lactating sows and the growth of their offspring. Thirty multiparous sows (Landrace Large White) were assigned randomly into one of three dietary groups: control (a corn- and soybean meal-based diet), the basal diet+1% MSG, and the basal diet+2% MSG. Diets were made isonitrogenous by the addition of appropriate amounts of L-alanine. Lactating sows had free access to drinking water andwere fed twice daily their respective diets. The number of live-born piglets was standardized to 9 per sow at day 0 of lactation (the day of farrowing). On days 3, 15, and 29 of lactation, body weight and milk consumption of piglets were measured, and blood samples obtained from sows and piglets at 2h and 1h after feeding, respectively. Feed intake of sows did not differ (P>0.05) among the three groups of sows. Concentrations of aspartate, glutamine, citrulline, arginine, tryptophan, proline, branched-chain amino acids, and glutamate were greater (P<0.05) in the plasma of MSG-supplemented sows and their piglets than for controls. When compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 1-2% MSG increased (P<0.05): concentrations of manyfree amino acids (including glutamate plus glutamine) and allprotein-bound amino acids in milk; the milk intake of piglets by 14-25%; and daily weight gains of piglets by 23-44%. These results indicate that dietary supplementation with 1-2% MSG to lactating sowsenhances milk production to support the growth of sow-reared piglets.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

author list (cited authors)

  • Rezaei, R., Gabriel, A. S., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Rezaei, Reza||Gabriel, Ana San||Wu, Guoyao

publication date

  • July 2022