Severe iron deficiency is a major nutritional problem encountered throughout the world. We assessed the effect of a conventionally bred, high-iron rice variety on plasma iron, hemoglobin, and red blood cell variables of early-weaned piglets during a 33-day feeding trial. 26-day-old male piglets were assigned to 3 treatment groups: group 1 = low-iron rice + low-iron supplementary feed; group 2 = high-iron rice + low-iron supplementary feed, and group 3 = low-iron rice + high-iron supplementary feed. Plasma iron, hemoglobin and red blood cell variables were measured on days 8, 16, 23, 30, and 33. Feed intake and weight gain were not significantly different between study groups. No significant differences in the iron-related parameters analyzed were found between the piglets of groups 1 and 2, except in red blood cells. Modifications regarding study design, study duration and subject’s growth rate are recommended to increase the possibility of detecting changes in the iron status triggered by diets having small differences in dietary iron.
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