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Supplementing flavonoids in poultry diets has shown the potential to progress the nutritional, sensorial and microbiological quality of poultry meat and eggs. In the last decade, several studies have determined the benefits of flavonoids for inhibition of lipid oxidation and microbial growth, check any pH-dependent deterioration and improve the colour stability of meat and related products. Flavonoids are typically absorbed in the ileum where pH is between 5-6.8. The various flavonoids vary in effective dose levels in poultry, but are typically included in levels ranging from 0.05-0.2%. Furthermore, flavonoid supplementation in the chicken diet has been reported to positively alter the fatty acid profile of meat and eggs by reducing the cholesterol and triglyceride content. Meat colour, in terms of lightness, can be improved by up to 5%. The aim of this review is to evaluate the use of various plant flavonoids as a substitute for synthetic feed additives in the poultry feed industry to satisfy consumer demands in terms of quality and safety of animal products. The results have stimulated interest in more research on the various flavonoid classes to determine the most effective compounds and their optimal doses for both broilers and laying hens.
Cinnamon is a common spice obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum). It has been used for culinary, as well as medicinal, purposes since ancient times in various countries. Apart from substantial amounts of several nutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, choline, vitamins (A, K, C, B3), and minerals, several biological active compounds are present in the extract of oil, which contribute to immunomodulatory, antioxidant, antiviral, lowering blood cholesterol, antimicrobial, lipid-lowering, antihypertension, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, gastroprotective, antidiabetic, neuroprotective and blood purifying properties. Cinnamon roots serve as a hepatic stimulant by improving bile production, eliminating toxins, restoring electrolyte balance and regulating hydration and can be used for enhancing digestion. In addition, nutritional properties of cinnamon powder include positive effects regarding growth, digestion, enhanced activity of gut microflora, improvement of immune response, as well as improved feed efficiency and health improvement of poultry birds. Recently, research focus has been directed towards supplementing broiler diets with cinnamon powder as a phytobiotic in order to replace synthetic growth promoters. After reviewing the literature, it was found that the research at the molecular level to elucidate the mechanisms behind the potential of cinnamon as a feed additive in poultry is limited, despite its promising impacts. Furthermore, supplementation doses vary significantly, i.e., from 0.02 to 7%. So, the aim of this review was to compile the published research related to cinnamon. Hence explore its beneficial properties, find out its optimal dosage for uses by veterinarians, researchers, and nutritionists, as well as its potential to use as a natural feed additive to replace the synthetic antibiotic growth promoters in poultry feed.
Flavonoids are natural compounds derived from different types of vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbal plants. Hesperidin, a flavanone (a class of flavonoids) glycoside is found abundantly in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons tangerines and limes and is known to possess significant benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, antioxidant, growth promoting, anticancer and immunological properties. Hesperidin enhances mucosal and humoral immunity by increasing intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte numbers, lymphoid organs (thymus, spleen and bursa) indices, as well as improving anti-avian influenza and anti-Newcastle disease antibody titres in poultry. In addition, hesperidin is a strong chain-breaking antioxidant that provides potent cellular antioxidant defence against the damaging effects induced by peroxide hydrogen. As a natural antioxidant, hesperidin could help mitigate heat stress during summer by decreasing heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratios, and quenching reactive oxygen species generated by summer heat stress. The aim of this review was to elucidate the biological effects and health benefits of hesperidin as an alternative of synthetic immune boosters and growth promoters in poultry diets.
Echinacea purpurea is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs that is of interest to animal scientists due to its valuable immuno-stimulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. It is thought that it activates the immune system through stimulating T-cell production, lymphocytic activity, phagocytosis, cellular respiration and inhibiting the secretion of the hyaluronidase enzyme. Chicoric acid (CA) is a major active constituent of Echinacea purpurea. The CA content in roots ranges between 16.80-24.30 mg/g which has gained a lot of renown due to its promising bio-activities. CA has shown to simulate growth promoters and have antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-HIV, anti-bacterial, hypoglycaemic and hepatocyte protective properties. There have been very few studies relevant to CA and its use in poultry diets. Previously published studies have included pharmacological and nutritional investigations in the poultry industry. CA could be used as an alternative to antibiotics, and may improve meat quality and health status in broiler chickens.
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