University of California

The vitamin-B complex as related to growth and metabolism in the pig


E. H. Hughes

Author Affiliations

E. H. Hughes was Professor of Animal Husbandry and Animal Husbandman in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 11(10):593-612. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n10p593. September 1938.

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An early report of a nutritional disturbance in pigs is that of (Rommel and Vedder (1915)),4 who produced a condition in them resembling human beriberi with a ration of steam-polished rice and tankage; at that time, however, these workers thought it was analogous to cottonseedmeal poisoning. (Blissett and Golding (1931)) reported that pigs fed wheat flour and white fish meal grew irregularly and were unthrifty and rough-coated. The English workers, (Birch, Chick, and Martin (1937)) noted scouring in pigs fed a modified Goldberger pellagra-producing diet, 5 to 6 weeks after their experiments began, which was corrected by the addition of yeast. Very recently, after the work of (Elvehjem and his associates (1937)), and while this work was being prepared for publication, (Chick, Macrae, Martin, and Martin (1938)) showed that the active factor in yeast was nicotinic acid. Since nicotinic acid has been demonstrated as a factor in the cure of human pellagra (Fouts, et al., 1937) and since the basal pig diet used was a pellagra-producing one, this nutritional disorder in the pig would seem to be analogous and might be designated as “pig-pellagra.”

At the California Agricultural Experiment Station, pigs on deficiency diets frequently showed dry curly hair, faulty elimination, a lack of normal muscular control, and slow growth. Casein in small quantities when added to a barley diet, markedly increased the rate of gain (Hughes, 1937); moreover, young fattening pigs grew particularly well when certain dairy by-products were a part of the diet; and pigs given access to pasture gained more rapidly than similar pigs in dry lot (Hughes and Roadhouse, 1937).

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Hughes E. 1938. The vitamin-B complex as related to growth and metabolism in the pig. Hilgardia 11(10):593-612. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v11n10p593
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