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Metabolic adaptations and the role of amino acids for pigs in challenges situations

Thesis : Metabolic adaptations and the role of amino acids for pigs in challenges situations
Association between nutrient metabolism and adaptive capacity of pigs during a challenge : a focus on functional amino acids.

In all animals, feed helps ensure physiological balance in terms of both development and health. The proteins in feed provide amino acids (AA) which are used in the synthesis of proteins of various kinds, molecules with biological activities and for the supply of energy. Knowledge of amino acids has shown that these nutrients have many other functions than those of muscle protein constituents and should also be considered for their roles in maintaining health (Le Floc’h et al., 2018). Indeed, functional amino acids are defined as AA which form biologically active peptides or proteins or which regulate metabolic pathways to improve the health, survival, growth, lactation and reproduction of organisms (Le Floc'h et al., 2018; Wu, 2010). These are therefore interesting nutrients to support demedicalization in breeding.

In this context, the general objective is to understand the association between the metabolism of amino acids and the adaptive capacity of pigs in challenges conditions. More precisely, the aim is to measure the effect of a sanitary challenge on amino acid metabolism (objective 1) and to determine whether the supply of these functional amino acids allows pigs to adapt better during the post-weaning and under the sanitary challenges conditions (objective 2).

Alicia Zem Fraga is working on this thesis topic since March 2018 for a period of 4.5 years, as part of a co-supervised thesis funded for FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo - Brazil). She is supervised by Dr Nathalie Le Floc’h in the team Physiology of Adaptation, Animal Nutrition and Health, Dr Luciano Hauschild (UNESP, Jaboticabal, Brazil) and Dr Paulo Henrique Reis Furtado Campos (UFV, Viçosa, Brazil).


Alicia Zem Fraga : alicia.zem-fraga[at]

  • Nathalie Le Floc'h, Anna Wessels, Etienne Corrent, Guoyao Wu, Paolo Bosi, 2018. The relevance of functional amino acids to support the health of growing pigs. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 245, pp. 104-116. [DOI]. [HAL]
  • Wu G, 2010. Functional amino acids in growth, reproduction, and health. Advances in Nutrition, 1(1), pp. 31-37. [DOI].