Poultry International - May 2019 - 8

Creatine:
The missing link for healthy growth

by Dr. John Thomson, Sales Manager US, AlzChem LLC and Dr. Ulrike Braun, Product Manager, AlzChem Trostberg GmbH

Reduced animal proteins and "All Vegi" Feeds - are we missing something?
We are feeding less animal protein to broilers and turkeys today compared to 10 years ago. Animal proteins
were banned for a time from livestock feeds in Europe due to concerns over public health. The complete ban
has been revised but animal protein use remains low. Consumer concerns over possible health issues that
might arise from feeding animal proteins back to livestock have created a demand for products from
"vegetarian-fed" animals in other markets, including the US.
Nowadays, consumer demand is driving the shift to antibiotic-free poultry production. However, this shift is
often followed by a reduction in performance and increase of illnesses like necrotic enteritis outbreaks.
Animal protein products, especially fishmeal, introduce an additional risk factor as they have been
associated with higher occurance of NE. This association has led many antibiotic-free systems to reduce
or eliminate animal by-products from their feeds.
Removing animal proteins from feeding programs has not been a smooth process for many producers.
Feed conversion, growth rate and yield sometimes suffer. Wet litter and poorer foot pad quality are common.
Are we losing beneficial components by shifting to animal protein-free poultry diets?
Creatine - from Greek "Creas" = flesh - has been first isolated from meat in 1847 and is generally associated
with high meat quality. Hence, animal derived proteins are natural sources of creatine. In contrast, plants do not
contain creatine. Are we missing creatine in in pure plant based diets?

Function of creatine
Creatine is a compound that is naturally produced by vertebrates from amino acids and stored in various
tissues but especially in muscle and those tissues with a high, fluctuating energy demand. It is required for
energy metabolism in the cells as the creatine-phosphorcreatine system is the immediate power station to
refuel ATP from ADP. In contrast to other nutrients like carbohydrates, protein or fat, the stored phosphorcreatine is readily available, comparable to a reserve battery, in times of high energy demand or stress.
The majority (>95%) of the body creatine pool is found in muscle cells, however, other cells including brain,
heart, marcophages and sperm cells have a critical need for creatine. In humans, in-born errors in creatine
synthesis and uptake are associated with locomotor problems and abnormal brain development. On the
other hand, creatine is well-established and approved in human sports nutrition to improve muscle strength
and physical performance.
May a lack of creatine induce the potential to lose performance when changing to "All Vegi" feeding?

Higher creatine demand but reduced supplies
At 56 days of age, modern broilers are roughly 365% (4202 vs 905 grams) of the weight of 1957-type broilers.
Furthermore, a 12 percentage point increase in hot carcass yield (74.4 vs 62.4 %) in 57 day old Ross 308 broilers versus 1957-type broilers is reported. Most of this difference was accounted for by a near doubling of the
pectoralis major yield (16.8% vs 8.8%). So, the increase in broiler is disproportionately due to increased muscle.
Assuming a creatine content 5 grams/ kilogram muscle and a 60% meat yield, the creatine content of a 56 day
old broiler has increased from 2.72 grams vs 12.6 grams compared to the 1957-type bird. Feeding plant-based
diets means that birds have to produce all this creatine endogenously!
AlzChem is a German company with a history in creatine manufacturing and application since its initial
success in sports application in 1992. Creapure®, AlzChem´s creatine brand for human nutrition, has been one
of the company's flagship products for the past 25 years. An extensive background in creatine
manufacture and knowledge of its metabolism led AlzChem to investigate whether creatine might be a
candidate for the missing link in animal protein-free production. Maybe, creatine is crucial not only in
human sports nutrition but also other high performing species, as found in our poultry today.



Poultry International - May 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Poultry International - May 2019

Poultry International - May 2019
Contents
Editor’s Comment
News
Addresses of Suppliers of Equipment, Services and Supplies
Buyer’s Guide of Poultry Equipment, Services and Supplies
Buyer’s Guide to Breeding Stock
Buyer’s Guide to Hatcheries
Marketplace
Advertisers’ Index
Poultry International - May 2019 - CT1
Poultry International - May 2019 - CT2
Poultry International - May 2019 - Poultry International - May 2019
Poultry International - May 2019 - Cover2
Poultry International - May 2019 - Contents
Poultry International - May 2019 - Editor’s Comment
Poultry International - May 2019 - CT3
Poultry International - May 2019 - CT4
Poultry International - May 2019 - 3
Poultry International - May 2019 - 4
Poultry International - May 2019 - News
Poultry International - May 2019 - Addresses of Suppliers of Equipment, Services and Supplies
Poultry International - May 2019 - 7
Poultry International - May 2019 - 8
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