How do pigs deal with dietary phosphorus deficiency?

Maciej M. Misiura*, João A.N. Filipe, Carrie L. Walk, Ilias Kyriazakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Feeding strategies for growing monogastric livestock (particularly pigs) must focus on maximising animal performance, while attempting to reduce environmental P load. Achieving these goals requires a comprehensive understanding of how different P feeding strategies affect animal responses and an ability to predict P retention. Although along with Ca, P is the most researched macromineral in pig nutrition, knowledge gaps still exist in relation to: (1) the effects of P feed content on feed intake (FI); (2) the impact of P intake on body composition; (3) the distribution of absorbed P to pools within the body. Here, we address these knowledge gaps by gathering empirical evidence on the effects of P-deficient feeds and by developing a predictive, mechanistic model of P utilisation and retention incorporating this evidence. Based on our statistical analyses of published literature data, we found: (1) no change in FI response in pigs given lower P feed contents; (2) the body ash-protein relationship to be dependent upon feed composition, with the isometric relationship only holding for pigs given balanced feeds and (3) the priority to be given towards P retention in soft tissue over P retention in bones. Subsequent results of the mechanistic model of P retention indicated that a potential reduction in P feeding recommendations could be possible without compromising average daily gain; however, such a reduction would impact P deposition in bones. Our study enhances our current knowledge of P utilisation and by extension excretion and could contribute towards developing more accurate P feeding guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-272
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date16 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded in part by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) in collaboration with AB Vista in the form of a postgraduate studentship to M. M. M.; J. A. N. F. and I. K. were supported by the Feed-a-Gene project. Feed-a-Gene received funding from the European Commission under the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 under grant agreement no. 633531.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 British Journal of Nutrition. All rights reserved.


  • Growth
  • Models
  • Phosphorus
  • Pigs
  • Retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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