N,N-dimethylglycine (DMG) is an intermediary metabolite in cellular choline and betaine metabolism. The present trial aimed to evaluate the effect of dietary DMG on nutrient digestibility and development of pulmonary hypertension syndrome in broilers. A total of 64 14-day-old broiler hens (Ross-308) were raised until age 40 days under cold environmental temperature conditions (15 °C) and were fed a high energy feed in order to incite pulmonary hypertension. Birds were randomly assigned to two groups of which each group had eight replicate pens of four birds each. Test diets contained 0 or 167 mg Na-DMG (Taminizer(®) D; Taminco N.V., Ghent, Belgium)/kg feed. N,N-dimethylglycine supplementation resulted in a significant improvement in apparent faecal digestibility of crude protein and nitrogen-free extract. Further, fulminant ascites was numerically lowered by DMG and incidence of pulmonary hypertension decreased significantly from 44.8% in the control group to 14.6% in the DMG group. Finally, fasted plasma level of non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) was twofold in the control group in relation to the DMG group. In conclusion, these data demonstrate beneficial effects of DMG on digestibility of non-fat fractions, on fat metabolism and on progression towards broiler ascites syndrome.
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