The Effect of Live Yeast Supplementation on Beef Cattle Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  •  Everton Sartori    
  •  Maria Canozzi    
  •  Daniele Zago    
  •  Ênio Prates    
  •  João Velho    
  •  Júlio Barcellos    


This meta-analysis evaluates the effects of yeast supplementation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on dry matter intake (DMI) and average daily gain (ADG) in beef cattle. The inclusion criteria were complete and randomized trials and supplementation with yeast S. cerevisiae versus no supplementation to measure DMI or ADG. Data were extracted from relevant papers via pre-defined protocols. A meta-analysis of random effects was conducted for each indicator separately including the mean of the control and treated groups. The results were presented with the pooled mean difference (MD), 95% of confidence interval, and I² (percentage of total variation between studies that is due to heterogeneity rather than chance). A total of 12 publications reporting 22 trials conducted in 1,161 cattle were analysed. The heterogeneity between studies was high and ranged from 92 to 99%. No effects were observed in ADG with the inclusion of yeast in the diet (MD = -2.849 g/day, p = 0.492). However, there was a reduction in the DMI (MD = -0.885 kg/day; p = 0.023) despite the high heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 92.4%; p < 0.001). The ADG increased when the forage level in the diet was between 30 and 50% (MD = 641.08 g/day; p = 0.001) and decreased when the level range from 51 to 75% (MD = -2.90 g/day; p < 0.001). In over 60% of the Neutral Detergent Fibre, the use of yeast in the diet decreased the ADG by 406.94 g/day (p = 0.034). Feedlot animals showed a reduction in the DMI (MD = -0.97 kg/day; p = 0.019) if supplemented with yeast. Supplementation with S. cerevisiae in the diet of beef cattle had no effect on ADG; however, it does improve the feed conversion due to the reduction in DMI.

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