07 Jan 2020

Intestinal health. The basis for optimal productions


Josep María Ros

Diamond V

Content available in: Español (Spanish)

Probably, as a producer or manufacturer of feed, you consider that you know what intestinal health consists of, but defining “intestinal health” is not easy, since this is the basis for optimal production in the poultry sector.

A fundamental objective for livestock farms is to minimize production costs without penalizing the results.

Improving productive parameters requires a multidisciplinary and delicate work that includes formulation and manufacture of balanced food, farm management, health, etc., but without adequate digestive health, optimal production objectives cannot be achieved.

On the other hand, animals with poor digestive health are more susceptible to diseases. Producers who want to maintain a competitive company cannot afford to ignore intestinal health.


The gastrointestinal tract is a complex organ and as well as being responsible for the digestion of food, it is the main defense element of the organism.

This is because of its close contact with the external environment, the exchange that occurs through it and its constant contact with the microflora in which both saprophytic and symbiotic agents and pathogens are found.

Bowel characteristics

For its proper functioning, it must have a rapid and optimal development of villi and mucosa that facilitate a maximum absorption surface.

The intestinal mucosa is formed primarily by the enterocytes through which this process is performed.

The mucosa must also have a great capacity for regeneration and repair of its epithelium, since enterocytes are renewed very quickly, and surface lesions are frequent due to the action of pathogens.

“To achieve the desired production objectives we cannot ignore intestinal health”

A healthy intestine acts as an entry barrier for pathogenic microorganisms and toxins. For this it has local defense mechanisms such as goblet cells, mucus producers and glycoproteins (defense proteins), and immune alert systems.

The immune defense can be weakened by factors such as stress, management or environmental factors.


Flora is another key factor in maintaining intestinal health. It is a complex of microorganisms in which bacteria predominate and whose composition varies with age and diet.

Most of these bacteria play a positive role by complementing the digestive action of their host and also protecting against pathogens (Competitive exclusion), while keeping the immune system active.

The general health situation of the animal can condition the profile of the populations of the intestinal flora, and the use of antibiotics is also a direct threat to its balance.

Poor intestinal health can be caused by a long series of interrelated factors that will negatively affect productive results. Intervening in food by incorporating supplements can be positive.

The opportunities offered by SCFAs – butyric acid and tributyrins – in this field are widely recognized as they have an effect on different structural and functional aspects of the intestine.


Among the SCFAs, butyric acid is particularly interesting. Butyric acid supplementation has proven to have numerous positive effects on the aspects that define intestinal health in both production animals (poultry, pigs, rabbits or ruminants) and experimentation animals, but also in humans.

Butyric acid

  • Energy source for enterocytes and colonocytes
  • Improves digestibility and nutrient absorption
  • Optimizes the intestinal flora profile
  • Reduces the presence of enteropathogens
  • Promotes the development of the intestinal mucosa and its ability to recover in case of injuries.
  • Demonstrated beneficial effects on epithelial cell integrity and intestinal defense system.
  • Increases the size of the intestinal villi and therefore the absorption capacity.

The combination of all these factors results in greater intestinal health and stability and improvements in productive results.


Tributyrins, butyric acid esters, are the most novel and efficient way to deliver butyric acid. Its ease of handling and its complete absence of odor make tributyrins the new source of butyric acid of choice.

“The ease of handling tributyrins and their total absence of odor make them the new source of butyric acid of choice”


Its chemical structure, consisting of 1 molecule of glycerol and 3 of butyric acid, has 2 unique properties of great interest: high concentration and specific release in the intestine.

Numerous recent and worldwide studies show the efficacy of tributyrin for better intestinal development and, therefore, in the improvement of digestive health and production.

Perstorp Feed & Food: dedicated to your success

Perstorp Feed & Food is a global specialist in acid-based solutions with more than fifty years of experience and aware of the importance of intestinal health and food preservation for the livestock sector.

Perstorp Feed & Food is a member of the Swedish multinational group Perstorp, a basic manufacturer of organic acids, such as propionic acid, formic acid and butyric acid.

As a member of this multinational group, it has a wide variety of expertise, built up since 1881, I+D facilities and own production plants in Europe, North America and Asia. Feed & Food works independently and flexibly and with greater proximity to the market.

Its team, highly prepared and motivated, has its lifeline in livestock. This direct contact with the farmers and the food sector drives their commitment to provide greater value to their company.

Currently, its main challenge is to strengthen intestinal health and the preservation of raw materials and balanced diets so that your business can improve food efficiency and production in a sustainable way.

To learn more about Perstorp products and services, click here






See other editions


Register to our International Newsletter

Get full access to our digital magazines and newsletters filled with contents by experts.


Agrinews communication group

Privacy Policy
Cookies Policy