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National requirement of vitamin D for pigs increased by 4X, (4X more than for humans) - Jan 2014

Establishment of the 2012 vitamin D requirements in swine with focus on dietary forms and levels of vitamin D

J ANIM SCI January 7, 2014 jas.2013-7201
C. Lauridsen charlotte.lauridsen at agrsci.dk
Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, 8830 Tjele, Denmark

In swine nutrition, little is known about vitamin requirements for reproductive processes and bone health, especially vitamin D. Supplemental vitamin D is usually added to animal feed as cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), which is transported to the liver and hydroxylated to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol [25(OH)D3], and this metabolite has become commercially available for swine nutrition.
Recently, the official vitamin D requirement for gestating and lactating swine was increased from 200 to 800 IU vitamin D/kg feed. The purpose of the present paper was to review the main findings of a published study, which has contributed to the basis for this establishment, and to put them into context with the existing literature. In this study, a dose-response trial with 4 doses of both vitamin D3 and 25OHD3 was performed with breeding swine, and consisted of 2 experiments: In Exp.1, 160 gilts from first estrus until d 28 of gestation were fed diets containing 4 concentrations of 1 of 2 vitamin D sources [i.e., 200, 800, 1,400, or 2,000 IU·kg−1 from cholecalciferol or corresponding levels of 5, 20, 35 or 50 μg·kg−1 from 25OHD3 (Hy•D)]. Concurrently in Exp. 2, the same 8 dietary treatments were fed to 160 multiparous sows from the 1st d of mating until weaning.
Dietary treatments of ≥800 IU/kg feed showed beneficial effects for breeding swine in terms of *bone mineral content and ultimate strength,

  • decreased number of still born piglets, and
  • greater vitamin D status in comparison with dietary treatments of 200 IU/kg of feed.

In addition, using the Hy•D resulted in greater concentrations of plasma 25(OH)D3 when fed at equal amounts (weight) of vitamin D3, but depended on the level tested. Above 200 IU/kg feed, 25OHD3 resulted in greater concentrations in plasma than vitamin D3, and could as such been considered as an equivalent or even more advantageous dietary source of vitamin D. In conclusion, this study, together with other recently published studies, addressed the nutritional benefits of vitamin D dose and forms for gestating and lactating sows and their offspring in terms of vitamin D status, reproduction, transfer to the neonate, and bone health.

Note: This is 800 IU per kg of feed, not per kg of pig

A pig ready for market weighs about 115 kg (250 lbs)
A pig eats approximately 4% of its body weight per day
4 % * 115 kg = 4.6 kg of feed eaten daily
4.6 kg * 800 = 3,680 IU of vitamin D daily for 250 lb pig
= 2,200 IU for a 150 lb pig/human, vs 600 IU specified by Insititue of Medicine
Approx 3.6 X more Vitamin D for pig than for human

See also VitaminDWiki