Role and functions of Micro and Macro-minerals in swine nutrition: A short review
Livestock production depends on the utilization of nutrients, and when this is accomplished, there is accelerated momentum toward growth with a low cost-to-feed ratio. Public concern over the consumption of pork with antibiotic residues in animals fed antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) has paved the way for using other natural additives to antibiotics, such as herbs and their products, probiotics, prebiotics, etc. Numerous feed additives are trending to achieve this goal, and a classic example is vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals represent a relatively small percentage of the diet, but they are critical to animal health, well-being, and performance; both play a well-defined role in metabolism, and their requirements can vary depending on the physiological stage of the animals. At the same time, the absence of these vitamins and minerals in animal feed can impair the growth and development of muscles and bones. Most commercial feeds contain vitamins and trace minerals that meet nutrient requirements recommended by National Research Council and animal feeding standards. However, the potential variability and bioavailability of vitamins and trace elements in animal feeds remain controversial because daily feed intake varies, and vitamins are degraded by transportation, storage, and processing. Accordingly, the requirement for vitamins and minerals may need to be adjusted to reflect increased production levels, yet the information presented on this topic is still limited. Therefore, this review focuses on the role and function of different sources of minerals, the mode of action, the general need for micro and macro minerals in non-ruminant diets, and how they improve animal performance.