Ileal and hindgut fermentation in the growing pig fed a human-type diet.Br J Nutr. 2020 09 28; 124(6):567-576.BJ
Dietary fibre fermentation in humans and monogastric animals is considered to occur in the hindgut, but it may also occur in the lower small intestine. This study aimed to compare ileal and hindgut fermentation in the growing pig fed a human-type diet using a combined in vivo/in vitro methodology. Five pigs (23 (sd 1·6) kg body weight) were fed a human-type diet. On day 15, pigs were euthanised. Digesta from terminal jejunum and terminal ileum were collected as substrates for fermentation. Ileal and caecal digesta were collected for preparing microbial inocula. Terminal jejunal digesta were fermented in vitro with a pooled ileal digesta inoculum for 2 h, whereas terminal ileal digesta were fermented in vitro with a pooled caecal digesta inoculum for 24 h. The ileal organic matter fermentability (28 %) was not different from hindgut fermentation (35 %). However, the organic matter fermented was 66 % greater for ileal fermentation than hindgut fermentation (P = 0·04). Total numbers of bacteria in ileal and caecal digesta did not differ (P = 0·09). Differences (P < 0·05) were observed in the taxonomic composition. For instance, ileal digesta contained 32-fold greater number of the genus Enterococcus, whereas caecal digesta had a 227-fold greater number of the genus Ruminococcus. Acetate synthesis and iso-valerate synthesis were greater (P < 0·05) for ileal fermentation than hindgut fermentation, but propionate, butyrate and valerate synthesis was lower. SCFA were absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract location where they were synthesised. In conclusion, a quantitatively important degree of fermentation occurs in the ileum of the growing pig fed a human-type diet.