The present study sought to assess the effects of manganese complexes with lysine and glutamic acid (Mn-LG) as manganese (Mn) sources on growth performance, trace element deposition, antioxidant capacity, and metacarpal strength in weaned piglets. The study involved 288 healthy Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire piglets that were weaned at 25 to 28 d of age and weighed 8.66 ± 0.96kg. These piglets were randomly divided into six groups: a control group (Mn-LG-0, receiving a basal diet without Mn supplementation), a Mn sulfate group (basal diet supplemented with 40 mg·kg-1 diet of Mn, Mn-S-40 group), and four Mn-LG groups (Mn-LG-20, Mn-LG-40, Mn-LG-60, Mn-LG-80, supplemented with 20, 40, 60, and 80 mg·kg-1 Mn from Mn-LG in the basal diet). Grouping began at weaning on the 0th day of the experiment. The corn-soybean-based basal diet during the early (days 0 to 14) and late (days 15 to 42) phases of the experiment contained 20.88 and 30.12 mg·kg-1 Mn, respectively. Blood samples were collected on days 14 and 42, and pigs were sacrificed for sample collection on day 42. The results indicated no significant differences in average daily gain, average daily feed intake, or feed-to-gain ratio among the groups (P > 0.05). The diarrhea rates of all Mn-LG groups and the Mn-S-40 group were significantly lower in the 0 to 14 d and during the entire experimental period than in the Mn-LG-0 group (P < 0.001). The Mn-LG-40 group exhibited a significant increase in liver Mn concentration and serum Mn superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) activity on day 42 (P < 0.01), as well as a significant decrease in fecal Mn concentration (P < 0.05), compared to those of the Mn-S-40 group. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were detected in the serum, liver, and fecal Mn concentrations, as well as in the serum and liver Mn-SOD activity, across the different Mn-LG groups. The serum and fecal Mn concentrations and serum Mn-SOD activity increased linearly or quadratically (P < 0.01) with increasing Mn-LG supplementation. No significant differences (P > 0.05) were found in kidney, heart, or metacarpal bone Mn concentrations or in bone strength indices. In summary, compared with the Mn-LG-0 diet, dietary supplementation with Mn-LG enhanced serum Mn deposition and Mn-SOD activity and decreased the incidence of diarrhea. Additionally, the fecal Mn concentration was lower in the Mn-LG group than in the inorganic group at equivalent dosages.

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