A field study on the effect of in-feed inclusion of a natural zeolite (clinoptilolite) on health status and performance of sows/gilts and their litters

Res Vet Sci. 2002 Feb;72(1):51-9. doi: 10.1053/rvsc.2001.0521.


The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the long-term dietary use of a natural zeolite (clinoptilolite, NZ) on health status and reproductive performance of sows/gilts and performance of their litters, along with its compatibility with antibacterials (chlortetracycline, CTC) periodically used in medication programmes. Two hundred and forty sows/gilts and their litters were assigned to two main experimental groups and four subgroups, depending on the inclusion of NZ and CTC in their feed. During the trial, frequent sampling of pregnancy feed for mycotoxicological analysis revealed a high contamination level with zearalenone. No adverse or side effects attributed to NZ were noticed. Furthermore, the combined use of NZ and CTC revealed no clinically apparent interactive effect on the availability of the latter. Reproductive performance was significantly improved by the dietary inclusion of both NZ and CTC. The results also suggested that the beneficial effect of NZ could be additionally considered as an indicator of the amelioration of zearalenone exposure consequences.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Chlortetracycline / administration & dosage
  • Chlortetracycline / adverse effects
  • Chlortetracycline / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Estrus / drug effects
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Health
  • Litter Size / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproduction / drug effects*
  • Swine / physiology*
  • Zearalenone / administration & dosage
  • Zearalenone / adverse effects
  • Zearalenone / analysis
  • Zearalenone / pharmacology
  • Zeolites / administration & dosage*
  • Zeolites / adverse effects
  • Zeolites / pharmacology*


  • clinoptilolite
  • Zeolites
  • Zearalenone
  • Chlortetracycline