Effects of L-Carnitine with Different Lysine Levels on Growth and Nutrient Digestibility in Pigs Weaned at 21 Days of Age

  • Cho, W.T. (Institute of Animal Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kim, J.H. (Institute of Animal Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Han, In K. (Institute of Animal Science & Technology, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Seoul National University) ;
  • Han, Y.K. (National Livestock Cooperatives Federation) ;
  • Heo, K.N. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Odle, J. (Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University)
  • Received : 1998.07.25
  • Accepted : 1998.09.28
  • Published : 1999.08.01


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of L-carnitine with different levels of lysine on performance of pigs weaned at 21 days of age. A total of 120 pigs were allotted into a $3{\times}2$ factorial design with three different levels of lysine (1.40%, 1,60% and 1.80%) and two levels of L-carnitine (0 and 1,000 ppm). Each treatment had 4 replications with 5 pigs per replicate. Pigs of $22{\pm}1$ days (5.9 kg of body weight) were grouped into a completely randomized block design. Treatments were 1) 1.4-Crt; 1.40% of lysine with 1,000 ppm of L-carnitine, 2) 1.4-N; 1.40% of lysine without L-carnitine, 3) 1.6-Crt; 1.60% of lysine with 1,000 ppm of L-carnitine, 4) 1.6-N; 1.60% of lysine without L-carnitine, 5) 1.8-Crt; 1.80% of lysine with 1,000 ppm of L-carnitine and 6) 1.8-N; 1.80% of lysine without L-carnitine. Growth performance was optimized in pigs fed 1.6% lysine regardless of carnitine addition. For the first 7 days of the experimental period, the best ADG and F/G were found in pigs within the 1.6-Crt group. Carnitine significantly improved (p<0.05) ADG of pigs when the lysine level in the diet was 1.6%. Only in the third week carnitine had a significant influence on growth performance of pigs. A lysine-sparing effect of L-carnitine was not detected in this study. The 1.6-Crt group showed the best proximate nutrient digestibility, and the crude fat and gross energy digestibility were higher when the L-carnitine was added in the diet. Lysine level significantly affected the digestibilities of DM (p<0.001), GE (p<0.001), CP (p<0.01) and C.fat (p<0.05). Carnitine also significantly improved digestibility of nutrients. Lysine level as well as carnitine level affected the amino acids digestibility, however, in 1.8% lysine diet carnitine did not influence on amino acids digestibility. Plasma carnitine content was significant higher (p<0.05) in pigs fed L-carnitine. This indicates the increased biological availability of carnitine within the body. L-carnitine supplementation tended to improve feed utilization during the third week (p<0.10) and during the entire period (p=0.10). Lysine level significantly affected feed utilization of pigs during the third week and entire period (p<0.05). As pigs grew, the lysine requirement was reduced.


L-carnitine;Lysine;Pig;Growth Performance;Nutrient Digestibility

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