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Effect of an abrupt switch from a milk-based to a fibre-based diet on gastric emptying in pigs: difference between origins of fibre

Characteristic dietary feature at weaning is a switch from milk to plant-based diet, i.e. from a non-fibrous to a fibrous diet. The study aimed at evaluating the effects of such an abrupt dietary switch on gastric emptying in pigs maintained on a milk substitute after weaning. Eighteen piglets were kept on a milk substitute for five weeks after weaning and were then either submitted to a dietary switch to wheat- or barley-based diets or kept on the milk substitute (n = 6 piglets per group).

All piglets were fasted during one day before the switch and daily food intake was then linearly increased to reach initial values within three days. Gastric emptying was measured by ƒ×-scintigraphy before and after the switch. Corpo-antral peristalsis was also evaluated by the use of high frequency scintigraphic frames. Gastric emptying of the wheat-based diet was accelerated on days 1 to 3 after the switch but was similar to the milk substitute thereafter.

This acceleration was concomitant to an enhanced frequency of corpo-antral waves on day 2 and day 3. On the contrary, gastric emptying of the barley-based diet tended to be enhanced on day 2 but was delayed on days 4 and 5, without any change in frequency of corpo-antral waves. We concluded that a switch from a non-fibrous to a fibrous diet alters gastric emptying differently depending on the type of dietary fibre.

Reported by

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA-UMRVP)
Domaine de la Prise
35590 Saint-Gilles
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