Health and wellness of all animals (poultry birds, meat or milks producers, fishes or equians) relies on the balanced nutrition. In addition to macromolecules and proteins, dietary minerals and vitamins also play crucial roles in well being. A balanced proportion of these nutrients are imperative for beneficial impact as they directly or indirectly affect the bioavailability of other minerals.
Last few decades have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of studies on nutritional aspects of Silicon, which was neglected inspite of its abundance in nature. Silicon’s role in the formation of collagen, bone physiology and other metabolic processes has been well documented. Plant based food and drinking water are natural sources of silicon for animals. These are insoluble sources of silicon that have to undergo complex hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract to produce soluble, monomeric form which is Ortho Silicic Acid (OSA).
The fast growth rate and high meat deposition in broilers is associated with increased levels of metabolic disorders. Skeletal abnormalities, bone deformities and high rate of fractures attribute to significant losses. Administration of bio available Silicon as Ortho Silicic Acid, through drinking water had proved to have a beneficial impact on bone health.
The OSA was readily absorbed in the blood and was transported across the body in monomeric form. OSA supplementation has reduced the severity and incidence of lameness by improving the calcium levels in serum culminating into increased bone density. The mechanical strength of femur had increased by 7.8% following administration of OSA.
Collagen is a protein present in all tissues of body. It provides a matrix to sustain tendon, skin and cartilage. It provides integrity, firmness and elasticity to their structures. Hydroxyproline is an important component of collagen.
It participates in binding three helixes of collagen firmly to stabilize the structure. This is in turn improves, quality, smoothness and shine of skin. Administration of OSA to cattle had increased the hydroxyporline content in collagen by 12.5%
Administration of OSA has improved the bone physiology and metabolism by increasing bone building activity and decreasing bone demineralization activity in the horse. OSA contributed to ahealthy bone cortex and a well-calcified bone matrix in the horsealong with increased uptake of calcium and phosphorous attributing to high bone density. The increased production of collagen contributed to bone flexibility to reduce incidences of injuries.