Increase bone strength in pigs

Adequate Ca and P amounts and ratios in the diets are crucial for the development of strong bones

Background on the challenge

For the correct mineralization processes of the bone tissue, adequate nutrition that contains appropriate amounts and ratios of calcium and phosphorus is necessary. Due to the rising concern about environmental pollution caused by the excretion of phosphorus, dietary contents of phosphorus for pig diets are reduced, and the addition of phytase became common practice. Both phosphorus and calcium are needed in the formation and maintenance of the bone structure. However, their active absorption through the small intestine is associated with the presence of the metabolically active form of Vitamin D3 - 1,25(OH)2D3.

Imbalanced Ca:P diets are detrimental to proper bone development in fast-growing animals, because the resistance of bones decreases, legs become weak and change position, which causes abnormal locomotion, bone deformities, and pain.

The implication for the industry

Weak legs cause pain and increase the risk of fractures, which are correlated with losses in performance, locomotion problems, increased mortalities, and potentially the increased need for the use of antibiotics. This reflects poor animal welfare and has a negative economic impact.

Vitamin feed premixes contain vitamin D3. However, bone-related diseases keep occurring, which indicates that apart from diseases, activation of vitamin D3 in the liver and kidney into its active metabolite might be an issue. Therefore, increased vitamin D3 requirements in fast-growing animals are often discussed. To achieve skeletal integrity, it is important to provide sufficient Ca and P and support the vitamin D3 metabolism throughout pigs’ life.

  • fast time to action

  • improves mineral metabolism

  • increases bone strength

Panbonis® is a complementary feed that contains a standardized level of 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol-glycosides (1,25(OH)2D3-gly) from dried and ground Solanum glaucophyllum leaves. 1,25(OH)2D3-gly can only be absorbed after the sugar molecule is released from 1,25(OH)2D3 by specific enzymes that are present in the intestine. This is a gradual process, ensuring a slow release of the bioactive component. Once it is absorbed, it does not need additional activation steps, like vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3) do, which means that Panbonis® can directly support the animal even in periods when specific activation enzymes in liver and kidney are limited.

Supplementing commercial pig diets with 100-200g/t of Panbonis® supports mineral metabolism and bone strength.

  • Supports the crucial role of vitamin D3

  • 100% Natural

  • GMO-free

  • Standardized content of the active ingredient

  • Gradually absorbed from the intestine

  • Considered a complementary feed in the EU

  • High processing and storage stability

Mode of action

Vitamin D3 needs two conversion steps to become metabolically active. The first step happens in the liver, where vitamin D3 is converted to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D3. 25(OH)D3 is the storage form of vitamin D3 and gives a good indication of the vitamin D3 status of the animal. The second activation step happens in the kidney, where the 25(OH)D3 is converted into 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25(OH)2D3). 1,25(OH)2D3 then interacts with the vitamin D3 receptor (VDR), which is – among others – located in the gut cells. There 1,25(OH)2D3 increases the expression of Calbindin, a Ca-binding protein in the cell that transports the Ca from the gut to the blood. When providing Panbonis®, which naturally contains 1,25(OH)2D3 - gly, only the glycosides need to be cleaved by endogenous enzymes, and the free 1,25(OH)2D3 can be absorbed and is directly available at the site of Ca-absorption.

Swine – Vitamin D Metabolism

Trial results

piglets with initial and final BW: 7-20kg


  • LO, L1, L2 corresponding to low digestible P (dP: 2.5g)/kg feed; Panbonis® at 0, 100 and 200g/t feed; Ca:dP =2:1

  • N0, N1, N2 corresponding to normal dP (3.5g)/kg feed; Panbonis® at 0, 100 and 200g/t feed; Ca:dP =2:1

28d at weaning; 5 weeks experimental period

170g/kg CP, 14.0MJ/kg DE
1000 IU Vit D/kg, 500 FTU Phytase/kg

Bone breaking resistancy

Source: Schlegel and Gutzwiller, 2015, J. Rech. Porc

Our solution Panbonis®
  • fast time to action
  • improves mineral metabolism
  • increases bone strength