Phosphorus (P) is an essential nutrient for livestock, but its utilization efficiency is less than 40%, contributing to environmental problems.
In this review, we summarize recent approaches to optimize the availability of P in livestock diets and improve their utilization efficiency.
It has been proven that phased feeding manages to reduce P excretion by 20%. The addition of phytase enzymes to diets increased P availability from 42% to 95%. Low-phytate transgenic plants and transgenic animals increased phosphorus availability by 14% and 52–99%, respectively (Brask-Pedersen et al., 2011).
In practice, a combination of phased feeding and enzyme addition has the greatest potential for P reduction.
On the other hand, functional and nutritional genomics can provide tools to improve efficiency in the future. Phosphorus reserves are finite. Therefore, losses not only cause environmental damage but also represent the waste of a depleted resource.
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