DONíT CLAYS DISTURB THE ABSORPTION OF NUTRIENTS
IN THE DIGESTIVE TRACT?
A special clay, the zeolite, is included in the composition of Starter and Junior VetSize products to reinforce the digestive security of these products. The incorporation of zeolite to a diet is useful for the prevention and the treatment of diarrheas. It absorbs water in excess in the digestive tract, but moreover, it adsorbs some toxins that are responsible for increased water secretion towards the lumen of the intestine.
Effects of clays on nutritional efficiency in various species
Knowing the adsorption ability of clays, we might fear that they could interfere with the mechanisms of digestive absorption. But many observations in various species deny this hypothesis.
The majority of the results show a positive effect, and no toxicity is related. In animal feeding, clays are incorporated in the diet up to about 3 Ė 5 %, and in many cases, growth performances are better, with or without an improvement of the consommation index.
Number of grammes of food necessary to obtain 1 g of bodyweight gain.
Effect of clays on mineral and vitaminic absorption
Adding clay induces a lower digestibility of the minerals in general, but this is due to the fact that clays themselves bring a lot of minerals that are not available. As it has been said earlier, clays are used routinely in the food of chickens, piglets, lambs or calves (Ö), and no negative effect is mentionned about the osseous growth of these animals.
In chickens, it has even been showed that the presence of zeolite improve the utilization of calcium, mainly when the calcium level is rather low in the diet. Incorporation of zeolite improves the mineral content of the bone and dicreases the number of cases of tibial dyschondroplasia (= abnormality of the osseous development of the tibias), in that species. Mineralization of the egg shells is 4 % higher when zeolite is added to the diet of laying hens.
Resultats obtained in dogs
The studies performed by Royal Canin in the Vet School of Nantes show that 2 % zeolite in the diet does not do any harm to the digestibility of the nutritive elements of the diet.
Last, the stools produced by the dogs that receive the diet with zeolite are significatively dryier, even when the control diet is already a high-digestibility food.
Clays do not have a negative effect on the nutritional efficiency, which is of course an essential condition for using them daily, especially in puppies. Their major interest remains in the fact that they are useful to obtain a high digestive security.
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