Aquafeed Vol 13 Issue 4 2021

Page 47


Effect of intestinal conditioner pronutrients in aquaculture diets Ekaitz Maguregui Matellanes, Biovet

Pronutrients: What are they? The term pronutrient was first described by Dr. Gordon Rosen in the 1950s as a micro ingredient included in the diet in relatively small quantities with the aim of improving animal physiology, the intrinsic nutritional value of the feed and prevent the presence of pathogenic microorganisms. Further studies carried out by Biovet S.A., together with universities and scientific research centers all over the world, have described pronutrients as complex molecules of botanical origin derived from shikimic acid, capable of stimulating or regulating animal physiology without causing a pharmacological effect, and whose administration strengthens and maintains animal health. The mechanism of action of pronutrients is based on stimulating certain genes in the DNA of target cells related to specific cellular functions. Such gene stimulation is related to a greater production of tissuespecific proteins, which vary according to the target cell of each pronutrient. Pronutrients are classified into different groups depending on their function and target cell (Table 1), and intestinal conditioners are the ones that improve gut health. Effect of intestinal conditioner pronutrients in aquaculture diets Intestinal conditioner pronutrients are active molecules present in different botanical extracts capable of improving the physiological state of the intestinal mucosa. These pronutrients act directly on enterocytes, accelerating their rate of renewal and improving the structural integrity of intestinal villi. At the same time, intestinal conditioner pronutrients strengthen the tight junctions between enterocytes, which prevents

microorganisms and different toxins from reaching the organism through the paracellular pathway. The supplementation of feeds with intestinal conditioner pronutrients is especially interesting in fingerlings, during the first phases of feeding with dry feeds since these active molecules ensure the complete development of the intestinal mucosa, improving the absorption of the nutrients necessary for their growth. A trial was conducted at the Universidad Científica del Sur (UCSUR) in Peru to evaluate the effect of Table 1. Pronutrients classification depending on their activity and target cell.

Types of pronutrients

Target cell

Intestinal conditioners


Intestinal optimizers

Cells of the gut local immune system


Immune cells

Liver conditioners


Aquafeed: Advances in Processing & Formulation Vol 13 Issue 4 2021

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