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Creatine for animal feeds. 10 key facts.

Dr David Cadogan

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Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) as a source of creatine

 

  1. Creatine is a naturally occurring component in the body of animals and is a critical component in energy metabolism.
  2. In contrast to other nutrients, creatine is stored in the muscle and directly reloads ATP for energy supply to the muscle. This is particularly important during periods of high energy demand and prevents the formation of reactive oxygen substances which have a negative effect on performance.
  3. Therefore, creatine is of primary importance in places with high energy need, such as skeletal muscle, heart, brain, sperm and immune cells.
  4. Despite its importance, it is estimated that only 66% of the daily creatine requirement can be synthesised by the animal while the remainder is required from the diet.
  5. While creatine is a natural constituent in meat or fish, creatine does not readily withstand heat treatment during rendering and therefore may be lacking in conventional animal diets. In vegetarian rations, creatine supply is further reduced, and this deficit of creatine may reduce performance accordingly.
  6. Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) is the direct endogenous precursor of creatine in all vertebrates. The body can produce GAA from the amino acids, glycine and arginine (figure 1.) or it can be provided via feed (CreAMINO is what we know).
  7. Creatine is produced from GAA acquiring a methyl group from the transmethylation cycle via S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAM), (Figure 1.).
  8. In muscle, creatinine is formed from creatine by an irreversible non-enzymatic dehydration and loss of phosphate. This constant loss of creatine is proportional to muscle mass and must be replaced by resynthesis of creatine. Without constant replacement of creatine, muscle mass is reduced.
  9. It has been estimated that creatine synthesis is responsible for 33% of the body’s demand for methyl groups (from betaine, choline or methionine).
  10. Therefor there is a direct link to adequate methyl donors (betaine is the best source) supply and creatine production.

An extensive number of controlled research trials and field trials have proven that feeding GAA (CreAMINO as a precursor to creatine);

 

  • Spares arginine (77-100% replacement)
  • Lifts AME (40-65 kcal)
  • Increases creatine concentration in tissues (all species)
  • Improves water holding capacity and meat quality in poultry
  • Improves weight gain in broilers and FCR (on average 4 points in FCR)
  • Increases fertility of broiler breeders and hatchability

 

Chart Image

Figure 1.      Creatine synthesis in the body
The process of synthesising creatine in the body consumes important nutrients (methyl groups, glycine and arginine) as well as energy (Figure 2) all of which may combine to limit animal performance. In this process, arginine is the rate limiting factor in GAA production and since arginine cannot be synthesised in the body, it must be provided in the diets of pigs and poultry. Despite this, modern poultry diets are becoming increasingly deficient or limiting in arginine (Figure 3).

 

Chart Image

Figure 2.     Guanidinoacetic acid – precursor of creatine formed from Arginine and Glycine
By supplementing animal diets with CreAMINO (GAA) this nutrient costly and performance-limiting process can be skipped, not only does this increase the supply of creatine, there is also a significant arginine sparing effect. This leaves arginine available for other processes (lipid metabolism, egg production etc.) and alleviates its rate-limiting effect. CreAMINO improves feed conversion or enables a reduction in the proportion of expensive, energy-rich ingredients (e.g. oil or soya). Further benefits are a notably more robust immune system and therefore a lower mortality rate as well as increased heat tolerance.

 

Graph image

Figure 3.     Creatine content of different animal feeds
Take home messages

An extensive number of controlled research trials and field trials have proven that CreAMINO;

 

  • Spares arginine (77-100% replacement)
  • Lifts AME (40-65 kcal)
  • Increases creatine concentration in tissues (all species)
  • Improves water holding capacity and meat quality in poultry and pigs.
  • Improves weight gain FCR in broilers and pigs (on average 4 points in FCR in broilers)
  • Increases fertility of broiler breeders and hatchability

 

For further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Ph +61 409 049 793



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