The inhibitory effect of carboxymethylcellulose with high viscosity on lipid absorption in broiler chickens coincides with reduced bile salt concentration and raised microbial numbers in the small intestine

CHM Smits, A Veldman, HJ Verkade, AC Beynen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Two diets, with or without a nonfermentable carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) with high viscosity, were fed to broiler chickens beginning at 2 wk of age to study whether the anti-nutritive effect of gelling fibers on Lipid digestibility maybe associated with reduced intestinal bile salt concentration. Moreover,the microflora were examined to study whether possible changes in bile salt concentration coincide with alterations in microbial numbers. Carboxymethylcellylose depressed apparent lipid digestibility (P = 0.021). Feed intake and weight gain were not significantly:affected. Water intake was increased in birds fed the CMC diet (P = 0.039). Bile acid concentration in small intestinal digests was decreased (P = 0.047) in birds fed the CMC diet, which may have been caused by the increased water content of digesta (P <0.001). The concentration of bile acids per gram dry matter or per milligram chromium was not reduced in small. intestinal contents. Broiler chickens fed the CMC diet excreted more bile acids in the excreta (P <0.001). Total aerobic and anaerobic microbial counts in the intestinal digesta were Significantly increased in the duodenum plus jejunum (P = 0.038) but not in the ileum. Significant increases were found in the numbers of Clostridia (P = 0.017), Lactobacillus (P = 0.009), Bacteroides (P = 0.022), and yeasts and molds (P 0.012). The present study supports the hypothesis that a nonfermentable gelling fiber (CMC) decreases apparent lipid digestibility by reducing the concentration of bile acids in the chyme in broiler chickens. Moreover, the ingestion of gelling fibers may increase the bacterial activity in the small intestine, which may further contribute to malabsorption of lipids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1534-1539
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct-1998


  • carboxymethylcellulose
  • viscosity
  • microflora
  • bile salts
  • lipid digestibility
  • RATS

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