Lipid Metabolism, Gene Expression, Substrate Oxidation, and Meat Quality of Growing-finishing Pigs Supplemented with Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Arginine



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We hypothesized that supplementation of dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and arginine singly or in combination would increase animal performance and meat quality by decreasing adiposity and increasing lean mass in growing-finishing pigs. Sixteen pigs (80 kg) were assigned to four treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial design, differing in dietary fatty acid and amino acid composition [control: 2.05% alanine (isonitrogenous control) plus 1% canola oil (lipid control); CLA: 2.05% alanine + 1% CLA; arginine: 1% arginine + 1% canola oil; arginine + CLA: 1% arginine + 1 CLA]. Preliminary tests indicated that up to 2% arginine was acceptable without interfering with lysine absorption. Pigs were allowed to feed free choice until reaching 110 kg. There were no significant differences across treatments in feed intake, weight gain, or feed efficiency. CLA tended to decrease carcass length (P = 0.06), whereas backfat thickness tended to be greater in pigs supplemented with arginine (P = 0.08). Arginine decreased muscle pH at 45 min postmortem (P = 0.001) and tended to increase lightness of muscle at 24 h postmortem (P = 0.07). CLA supplementation increased the concentrations of trans-isomers of 18:1 (P = 0.001) and SFA (P = 0.01) in s.c. and r.p. adipose tissue. CLA supplementation increased palmitate incorporation into total lipids in longissimus muscle (P = 0.01). Glucose oxidation to CO? in r.p. and s.c. adipose tissue were greater in pigs supplemented with CLA in the absence or presence of arginine (P = 0.03 and P = 0.04, respectively). The volume of s.c. adipocytes in s.c. and r.p. adipose tissues was greater in pigs supplemented with CLA, arginine, or CLA plus arginine than in control pigs (P = 0.001). Neither CLA nor arginine affected the expression of PGC-1[alpha],AMPK, mTOR, CPT-1A, FAS, or SCD (P > 0.05) in any tissues. We conclude that there was no significant interaction between arginine and CLA. Supplementary CLA or arginine to finishing-growing pigs did not modulate growth performance and did not reduce adiposity. CLA increased intramuscular fat content without deteriorating meat quality traits and increased saturated fatty acids and substrate oxidation in adipose tissues. In the presence of 1% of canola oil or CLA in the diet, arginine has the potential to deteriorate meat quality by reducing early postmortem pH and by increasing carcass fatness.