Piglet Gastrointestinal Functionality

For producers to raise healthy pigs and to avoid the use of antibiotics, it is critical the piglet has optimal gastrointestinal functionality. However, the weaning process is an abrupt one-day event which brings many challenges to the gut functions, culminating in the most commonly reported problem in weaned pigs globally of post-weaning diarrhea and a lag in growth stemming from leaky gut syndrome. 

Selected Species

Leaky Gut Syndrome in Piglets

Leaky gut syndrome is characterized by hyper-permeability of the intestinal epithelium resulting in an increase passage of particles such as bacteria and undigested nutrients across the gut barrier. These compounds activate an inflammation reaction which can also damage the intestinal cells. Pathogens, such as enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) are then able to adhere to the intestinal cells and produce toxins that induce a loss of water and electrolytes from the cells resulting in diarrhea (Gresse et al., 2017). In addition to diarrhea, the other outcomes of the enteric infection such as reduced feed intake, weight loss, fever, poor feed efficiency and lack of uniformity are easily seen by the producer. 

The severity of leaky gut syndrome is impacted by direct and indirect factors. The direct factors include allergens and antigens that activate the pro-inflammatory cytokine cascade that cause gut inflammation.  Allergens can originate from feed and the most prevalent in piglet diets originate from soybean meal. Antigens can also originate from feed and include components such as mycotoxins, but can also originate in the gut lumen from cellular debris (peptidoglycans) originating from cell walls of dead gram-positive bacteria (McCormack et al., 2020).

The indirect factors contributing to the severity of leaky gut syndrome are the facilitators of a gut environment that supports the growth of pathogens both in terms of the substrates they need to grow and the environment in which they live in. 

Our Solution Approach

To tackle this challenge, success lies in the use of tailormade solutions that create a gut environment that is less favorable for pathogen growth in terms of the environment and nutrient supply for the pathogens and deactivating the anti-nutrients arising from the feed and the microbiome.

Strategies to support optimum gastrointestinal functionality

  • Deactivate glycinin with a targeted protease. 
  • Deactivate mycotoxins. 
  • Apply a muramidase to reduce negative effects of peptidoglycans (PGN) from Gram + bacteria

Strategies to create a less favorable gut environment for pathogens

  • Use protease and carbohydrase enzymes that increase nutrient digestibility and result in reduced supply of viscose fiber and undigested protein both of which favour pathogen growth. 
  • Deactivating the antinutrient effect of phytate. 
  • Decrease the pH of the gut to reduce pathogen growth. 


  • VevoVitall®

    VevoVitall® is an ultra-pure source of benzoic acid and is an excellent feed preservative.

  • Balancius®

    Together DSM and Novozymes have created Balancius® the first and only feed ingredient designed to unlock the hidden potential in gastrointestinal functionality.

  • Mycofix® Plus 5.Z

    Absolute protection against the broadest range of mycotoxins. With ZENzyme® Faster and Better

  • RONOZYME® ProAct

    RONOZYME® ProAct is DSM best-in-class feed protease which increases protein digestion across a range of feed ingredients, thereby reducing feed costs. RONOZYME® ProAct optimizes amino acids digestion, reduces costs, mitigates effects of feed protein variability, reduces adverse effects of anti-nutritional factors as well as improves Gastrointestinal Functionality.

  • ProAct 360™

    DSM is the first and only supplier to launch its second generation feed protease, ProAct 360™, in order to further reduce production costs, while making animal production even more sustainable.

  • RONOZYME® HiPhos

    RONOZYME® HiPhos takes feed phytase to the next level. Far less inorganic phosphorous needs to be added to the diet, resulting in substantial savings on feed costs.

  • HiPhorius™

    HiPhorius™ raises the market standard for phytase technology, delivering consistent improvements in animal performance through efficient phosphorous utilization.

  • RONOZYME® MultiGrain

    RONOZYME® MultiGrain is a multi-enzymes product which activities reduce intestinal viscosity while releasing entrapped energy and nutrients, reducing feed costs.

  • RONOZYME® WX2,000

    RONOZYME® WX2,000 degrades xylans, the major antinutritional components in cereals grains, improving the release of entrapped energy and nutrients, reducing feed costs.


    RONOZYME® VP is a multi-component enzymes product which degrade the complex cell-wall NPS structures, improving the release of entrapped energy and nutrients, reducing feed costs.

  • RONOZYME® HiStarch

    RONOZYME® HiStarch contains a unique single alpha-amylase to unlock the energy in grain-based poultry and piglets feeds by improving starch digestion, reducing feed costs.