Introduction

The water-soluble vitamins biotin, choline, niacin, and ascorbic acid are integral components of a number of metabolic systems. These vitamins serve as prosthetic groups for enzymes, a component of the liable methyl pool, and precursors to metabolically critical enzymes. These B vitamins are found in a variety of feeds at varying concentrations. Monogastric animals may require supplementation of B vitamins under some production practices. Ruminant animals do not normally need supplementation of B vitamins, as the microbes in the rumen produce a supply adequate to meet the animal's needs.

dermatitis, skin ulcerations, a brown exudate on the skin and about the eyes, transverse cracking of the hooves, cracking and bleeding of the foot pads, diarrhea, and an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth.[1,2] Studies indicate that animals can safely tolerate levels of biotin as high as 10 times the nutritional requirement.1-4-1

The supply of biotin to the animal is affected by the biotin content of the diet, as well as by the availability of biotin in feed ingredients and the level of synthesis by the intestinal microflora. The apparent digestibility of biotin determined at the distal ileum was 55.4, 2.7, and 3.9% in soybean meal, meat and bone meal, and canola meal, respectively; and 4.8, 4.0, and 21.6% in barley, corn, and wheat, respectively.1-5-1

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