Performance and concentration of amino acids in plasma and urine of young pigs fed diets with excesses of either arginine or lysine.

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Four experiments were conducted to investigate the arginine x lysine interaction in young pigs. Excess supplemental arginine (.67 to 2% of diet) decreased weight gain and feed intake, but had no effect on efficiency of feed utilization. Lysine supplementation (.5 or 2.5%) did not ameliorate the adverse effects of excess arginine. Decreasing the arginine content to .8% from a level routinely supplied by typical swine diets (1.3%) did not improve pig performance. Excess supplemental arginine increased plasma arginine and ornithine concentrations and decreased plasma lysine and histidine concentrations; several other amino acids were decreased in plasma as well. Feeding 2.8% total dietary arginine resulted in a dramatic increase in urinary excretion of arginine, ornithine, citrulline, lysine, histidine and cystine. From these results it is concluded that the adverse effects of excess arginine represent classic amino acid imbalance rather than amino acid antagonism.

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Journal of animal science

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