Woyengo, T. A. and Nyachoti, C. M. 2013. Review: Anti-nutritional effects of phytic acid in diets for pigs and poultry - current knowledge and directions for future research. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 93: 9-21. Plant feedstuffs contain phytic acid (PA), which is a storage form of phosphorus. Phytic acid is, however, poorly hydrolyzed by pigs and poultry, and it has a capacity to complex dietary nutrients, thereby reducing nutrient digestibility. Reduced nutrient digestibility by PA implies reduced efficiency of utilization of the nutrients and increased discharge of the unabsorbed nutrients to the environment. Phytic acid has also recently been shown to increase the endogenous nutrient losses (ENL) in pigs and poultry. Because the increased ENL in the gastrointestinal tract are associated with increased maintenance requirement for the lost nutrients and of energy spent on their secretion, an increase in ENL due to PA implies that there are other adverse effects of PA on nutrient utilization in addition to reducing nutrient digestibility. In this review, the effects of PA on performance of pigs and poultry, and on the digestibility and ENL in these animals are discussed in detail. Also, the mechanisms by which PA reduces nutrient digestibility and increases gastrointestinal ENL in pigs and poultry are discussed, and areas that need further research to gain more insight into these mechanisms are suggested.
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