Dr Larissa Balakireva, CEO & Founder of NovoCIB, was awarded with the Trophy of
"Femmes en Or 2011, Femme de l'Innovation"
in September 2011

Dietary Nucleotides - Nutrition

Nucleotides participate in nearly all biochemical processes important for growth: ATP is an universal energy currency in all biological systems particularly abundant in muscles. Adenine nucleotides are components of three major coenzymes, NAD+, FAD, and CoA. Being building blocks of the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), nucleotides are particularly required for actively proliferating cells of immune system or intestinal epithelium.

Cellular function
Biological role
Actine-myosin interaction
Muscle contraction
RNA synthesis (translation)
Protein synthesis
DNA synthesis (replication)
Redox reactions
Coenzyme A
Krebs cycle
Fatty acids metabolism
Liver functions, muscle growth
Since nucleotides can be synthesized de novo and recycled through salvage pathways, they are considered as semi-essential nutrients.

However, rapidly growing tissues or rapidly dividing immune cells during infection have higher requirements cells for nucleotides that can not be met only through de novo synthesis. In these cases nucleotides become "essential" nutriments that can be provided with aliments and assimilated through shorter salvage pathway (2 steps) compared to de novo synthesis (9 steps for purines).

It has been shown that the supplementation of feed with dietary nucleotides :
- boosts immune system, enhances immunity and resistance to bacterial infections;
- accelerates intestinal recovery after diarrhoea or food deprivation;
- improves growth rate.

Sources of dietary nucleotides :

1) Since animal muscle is naturally rich in ATP, meat (pork, beef, chicken), fish and shrimps are excellent sources of purine nucleotides;
2) Baker yeasts are naturally rich in RNA and yeast extracts are excellent sources of both purine and pyrimidine nucleotides.

For nucleotide assessment in food and feed ingredients NovoCIB provides analytical services and enzymatic kits.

1. Bueno J, Torres M, Almendros A, Carmona R, Nunez MC, Rios A, Gil A.(1994)
Effect of dietary nucleotides on small intestinal repair after diarrhoea. Histological and ultrastructural changes. Gut. 35(7):926-33.
2. Brunser O, Espinoza J, Araya M, Cruchet S, Gil A. Acta Paediatr. (1994)  Effect of dietary nucleotide supplementation on diarrhoeal disease in infants. 83(2):188-91.
3. Ortega MA, Nunez MC, Gil A, Sanchez-Pozo A. (1995) Dietary nucleotides accelerate intestinal recovery after food deprivation in old rats. J Nutrition. 125(6):1413-8.
4. Tahmasebi-Kohyani A, Keyvanshokooh S, Nematollahi A, Mahmoudi N, Pasha-Zanoosi H. Dietary administration of nucleotides to enhance growth, humoral immune responses, and disease resistance of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)fingerlings. Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2011 Jan;30(1):189-93 
5. G. Biswasa, H. Korenagaa, R. Nagamineb, T. Konob, H. Shimokawac,  T. Itamia, M. Sakaia Immune stimulant effects of a nucleotide-rich baker's yeast extract in the kuruma shrimp, Marsupenaeus japonicus (2012) Aquaculture Volumes 366–367, Pages 40–45
6.  Do Huua H, Tabrett S, Hoffmann K, Köppel P, Lucas JS, Barnes AC (2012) Dietary nucleotides are semi-essential nutrients for optimal growth of black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) Aquaculture Volumes 366–367, Pages 115–121


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