The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of an inulin source (aqueous or aqueous-alcoholic extract, dried chicory root, or dried Jerusalem artichoke tubers) on piglet performance, plasma lipid profile, and immunoglobulin concentration. The study was conducted on 534 piglets (44 litters) allocated to five nutritional groups: group I (control) - fed basal diet, groups II and III receiving basal diet supplemented with 2% of inulin (aqueous and aqueous-alcoholic extract respectively), and groups IV and V -4% additive of dried artichoke or dried chicory respectively. During the trial, piglets’ body weight, feed intake, diarrhoea incidence, and mortality were controlled. Blood samples were collected twice from six animals of each group. In blood plasma, indices of lipid profile and concentrations of IgA, IgG and IgM were measured. The addition of inulin, regardless of its form (extracts or dried plants), significantly improved the rearing indices. In piglets of groups III, IV and V a significant improvement of daily weight gains and feed efficiency was noted. Inulin showed hypolipidemic activity (lowered total cholesterol level) and stimulated piglet immune system manifested by elevated IgA and IgG concentrations. Irrespective of the inulin source, a lower mortality rate resulting from the improvement of animal health was noted in all experimental groups.
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