Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Efficacy of orally administered iron methionine and iron dextran in newborn pigs

66 newborn piglets of 11 litters were allotted to 6 treatments: 285 mg iron (Fe) as Fe methionine orally either within 12 h after birth or on the 2nd day (FeM1, FeM2), 290 mg Fe as Fe dextran orally either within 12 h after birth or on the 2nd day (FeD1, FeD2), 200 or 100 mg Fe as Fe dextran sc. on the 2nd day (Fe200, Fe100). Blood samples were drawn 1 day after iron administration and at two weeks of age. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances in erythrocytes and plasma total antioxidant status one day after iron administration were identical in all treatments and did not differ from values obtained from piglets which had not received iron. Haemoglobin (Hb) values of the six groups did not differ in the first blood samples. At two weeks of age, Hb values in groups FeM1, FeM2, FeD1, FeD2, Fe200 and Fe100 were 101 c , 108 bc, 127 ab , 119 abc , 138 a and 128 ab g/l. Hb values at two weeks were higher in animals receiving iron dextran orally than in animals receiving iron methionine (p < 0.01). Bioavailability was not reduced when the oral administration of iron methionine and of iron dextran was delayed until the 2nd day of life.

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