The use of artificial sweeteners is a common occurrence in the livestock industry. For both ruminants and swine, sweeteners are used to mask unpalatable tastes in feed and encourage feed intake, especially around weaning. This perception of sweetness is due to the taste receptors (T1R2 and T1R3) located on the tongue (Radcliffe, 2011). These taste receptors are also located in the small intestine, which brings about an interesting question; is there a physiological importance to taste receptors other than detecting sweetness?

  1. Nutrient sensors located on enteroendocrine cells in the gut play important roles in various functions of the gut-brain axis. This makes these sensors an attractive nutritional target for manipulation (Bravo, 2012; Shirazi-Beechy et al., 2011).
  2. Sweeteners stimulate the taste receptors on enteroendocrine cells resulting in increased production of sodium-glucose co-transponder 1 (SGLT1) (Moran et al., 2010; Shirazi-Beechy et al., 2011).
  3. Increased abundance of SGLT1 protein in the intestinal tract results in improved glucose, water and sodium absorption (Moran et al., 2014).
  4. Activation of taste receptors on enteroendocrine cells were found to stimulate gut hormones Glucagon-like peptides (GLP) 1 and 2 as well as serotonin which modulates insulin secretion, and therefore, glucose absorption and utilization (Moran et al., 2010).
  5. SGLT1 protein numbers can significantly reduce at post weaning (over 200-fold), mainly due to change in diet from milk to roughage/cereal diet. However, SGLT1 mRNA levels only reduced 5-fold (Woods et al., 2000).
  6. SGLT1 protein and mRNA levels of a 2 year old ruminant is about 500-fold lower than the pre-weaned SGLT1 levels (Woods et al., 2000).
  7. In swine, glucose requirement for an activated immune system could increase by ±116g (476kcal) for a 480min period (Kvidera et al., 2017).
  8. Huntley et al. (2017) demonstrated that the immune response to an E.coli LPS challenge increased total heat production by 19% and maintenance energy requirements by 23% in nursery pigs.
  9. Waldron et al. (2006) demonstrated that lactating Holstein cows experiencing an LPS challenge required 33% more glucose than the control cows.
  10. Multiple authors demonstrate a substantial increase in glucose consumption by activated immune cells in ruminants (Calder et al., 2007; Palsson-McDermott and O’Neill, 2013; Kvidera et al., 2017; Kvidera et al., 2016).
  11. DON can inhibit SGLT1 activity by 50% at low levels (<10mol/L), and by 76% at high levels of DON (100mol/L) (Maresca et al, 2002).
  12. Increase SGLT1 protein numbers may lead to an increase in glucose absorption in the small intestine. That has been shown to improve villi height and crypt depth, feed efficiency, gut health and reduce the severity of diarrhea (Connor et al., 2016; Connor et al., 2013; Da Silva et al., 2011; Taylor-Edwards et al., 2011; Sterk et al., 2008; Schlegel and Hall, 2006).

Sucram C150 and Molasweet masks unpalatable tastes in feed allowing for more consistent feed intake. In addition, both Sucram C150 and Molasweet help to increase the number of SGLT1 proteins present in the small intestine, thereby increasing glucose absorption and utilization

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