Effect of dietary sialic acid supplementation on saliva content in piglets

Wang, B.; Staples, A.; Sun, Y.; Karim, M.; Brand-Miller, J.
June 2004
Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition;2004 Supplement, Vol. 13, pS75
Academic Journal
Background - Saliva contains sialic-acid (SA) containing proteins (mucins) that influence its viscosity and protective properties. Dietary intake of SA may be responsible for differences in the salivary SA levels between breast-fed and formula-fed infants. Objective - To investigate the effect of supplementation with casein glycomacropeptide (cGMP, a protein-bound source of SA) on salivary concentration in piglets during the first 5 weeks of life. Design - Twenty 3-day-old male domestic piglets (Sus scorfa) from 4 litters were distributed evenly to 2 groups. The control group (n=10) was fed a standard diet of soy/whey/casein sow milk pig-replacer (55:9:36) containing 150 mg/L of naturally-occurring SA. The treatment group (n=10) received a similar formula in which cGMP replaced some of the whey and casein such that the final level of SA was 600 mg/L. Milk intake in both groups was 285 ml/kg/day during the first 2 weeks and 230 ml/kg/day for the remaining weeks, therefore the control group received 43 mg/kg/day of SA and the treatment group 170 mg/kg/day. Saliva samples (0.5-1mL) were collected once per week. Free and bound SA content were determined using HPLC.During the first two weeks, 7 piglets in the control group and 4 piglets in the treatment group required antibiotics (3-day) for weaning diarrhoea. Outcomes - Rate of weight gain was similar in the two groups (170 g/day in the control group, 155 g/day in treatment P=0.44). Total salivary SA content varied from 2% to 41% higher in the treatment group compared with the controls. The difference was significant on day 10 and day 24 (429±80, 366±47mg/L in treatment and 253± 32, 265±29 mg/L in control respectively, P<0.05), but not on days 17 or 31. The time trends over the whole time period were not significantly different. The majority of SA was in the bound form (>93%) and showed the same trends. Conclusions-The findings of this study suggest that a protein-bound dietary source of SA such as cGMP increases the SA content of saliva. The level of SA in saliva may be indicative of that found in other serous fluids, plasma and other tissues, including the brain. There are implications for both immunity and development.


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