What is tributyrin?
There is evidence that butyrate is an important feed additive, but tributyrin is a less known molecule. It is a butyrate prodrug, the triglyceride of butyric acid, therefore formed by one molecule of glycerol linked to three molecules of the 4-carbon fatty acid. This molecular form has several advantages compared to the free butyric acid and the butyrate: higher palatability, less odor and three bio-available molecules of butyric acid instead of one. In fact, once in the gut, the triglyceride is attacked by enzymes and the free molecules are rapidly absorbed by enterocytes.
Growth performance and intestinal health: the commitment for life
Dietary inclusion of tributyrin has a good impact on animal health and growth performance because of the positive effects on the gut and the digestive functions. There are several studies demonstrating that butyrate (and tributyrin in a better way) increases enterocytes proliferation, regulates the intestinal blood flow, improves immune response and has an anti-inflammatory effect in the gut. Feeding in that way the chickens in the first hours of life improves the size of villi, with a higher digestion of nutrients. Adding tributyrin in milk replacer in piglets before weaning, significantly increases the body weight at the end of the neonatal phase (d1-21, +8%) and the ADG (+9%) after 58 days of dietary supplementation, with a parallel reduction trend in feed intake. In this optic, every day of life is important for the animal and the sooner we give tributyrin to animals, the better results we have in terms of intestinal development and live production.
Tributyrin as muscle tissue growth promoter
Tributyrin has been thought to have a positive effect on animal growth also because of the action on satellite cells in muscle. The proliferation and replication of these cells are strictly controlled in the organisms through modulation of transcription and myogenic factors. A recent study demonstrates that the addition of tributyrin in a standard diet significantly increases (+40%) muscle total protein and DNA content in treated animals compared to animals fed the standard diet. The same study revealed an increase in muscle mass by muscle fiber hypertrophy: the fiber cross-sectional area of the muscle increase by 25% and the loin area by 11% in piglets that received tributyrin in the diet. Although no significant difference was detected for the mTOR signalling pathway, tributyrin in the intestinal epithelium reduces the amount of phosphor-AMPK that is known to inhibit this particular pathway. mTOR is really important for the animal because is related to protein synthesis and regulate the satellite cells fusion machinery in the muscle. These findings indicate tributyrin as an additive useful both for the already known qualities and as a growth promoter for muscle tissue.
The Vetagro solution
Vetagro offers a complete range with tributyrin in different physical forms, to satisfy poultry, swine and ruminants and all the technological needs. AviPremium®L is our liquid tributyrin, containing at least 97% of tributyrin, corresponding to 85% of butyric acid. If there is the need of tributyrin in powder form, we offer AviPremium®D: it contains at least 63% of tributyrin, corresponding to 550 g of butyric acid per kg of product. Both these products can be used in a wide range of animal species and categories, with good palatability and reduction of odor.
AviPremium®P and AviPremium®S are specifically thought for poultry or swine, respectively, containing at least 25% of butyric acid (30% of tributyrin minimum). In this case, tributyrin is microencapsulated: our microencapsulation technology ensures its slow release along the entire intestinal tract, with an optimal bioavailability for the animal.
Whatever the need, our complete range of products can support the intestinal health of your animals and their lifelong production performance.
- Aguggini et al., 2001. Fisiologia degli animali domestici. Con elementi di etologia. UTET Ed.
- Dong et al., 2016. Supplementation of tributyrin improves the growth and intestinal digestive and barrier functions in intrauterine growth-restricted piglets. Clin. Nutr. 35:399–407
- Piva et al., 2002. Tributyrin and lactitol synergistically enhanced the trophic status of the intestinal mucosa and reduced histamine levels in the gut of nursery pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 80:670–680
- Pan, et al., 2014. Intestinal microbiome of poultry and its interaction with host and diet. Gut Microbiom. 5(1):108-119
- Andoh, et al., 1999. Physiological and anti‐inflammatory roles of dietary fiber and butyrate in intestinal functions. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 23:S70-S73.
- Yegani and Kover, 2008. Factors affecting intestinal health. Poultry Sci. 87(10):2052-2063
- Murray et al., 2018. Dietary tributyrin, an HDAC inhibitor, promotes muscle growth through enhanced terminal differentiation of satellite cells. Physiol. Rep. 6(19):e13706
- Bodine, et al., 2001. Akt/mTOR pathway is a crucial regulator of skeletal muscle hypertrophy and can prevent muscle atrophy in vivo. Nat. Cell Biol. 3:1014–1019.
- Sun, et al., 2010. Mammalian target of rapamycin regulates miRNA-1 and follistatin in skeletal myogenesis. J. Cell Biol. 189:1157– 1169.
- Yan and Ajuwon, 2017. Butyrate modifies intestinal barrier function in IPEC-J2 cells through a selective upregulation of tight junction proteins and activation of the Akt signaling pathway. PLoS ONE 12:e0179586.