Effects of Condensed Tannin on Animal Nutrition

  • Larry G. Butler


Addition of condensed tannins to diets of experimental animals usually results in diminished weight gains and lowered efficiency of feed utilization, as well as increased fecal nitrogen. These effects have been interpreted in terms of inhibition by tannin of the digestion of dietary protein. Recent studies suggest that inhibition of digestion is much less significant than inhibition of the utilization of digested and absorbed nutrients. Some component(s) of condensed tannin appear to be absorbed from the digestive tract and produce systemic effects. Herbivorous mammals partially protect themselves against dietary tannin by producing specific proline-rich salivary proteins that strongly and selectively bind the tannins, thus sparing dietary proteins. Without these defensive proteins, which may be the source of the increased fecal nitrogen, the antinutritional effects of tannin would be much more severe.


Dietary Protein Condensed Tannin Tannin Content Hydrolyzable Tannin Nutritional Effect 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry G. Butler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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