Effect of humic acid (HA) and fulvic acid (FA) on production parameters, immune response and thyroid function of rats were investigated in two experiments. First experiment: control or 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.4%, 0.8% HA- or FA-supplemented diets. Second experiment: control and 0.4% HA- or FA-supplemented diets. The feeding period lasted 26 days in both trials. No significant changes were observed in production parameters. Ovalbumine antibody titre of rats on HA- or FA-supplemented diets showed dose-dependent (at 0.4% supplementation) and significant (p < 0.05) increase (350 and 418% respectively) over the control (100%). Dose-related increase of plasma TSH (r = 0.99), and decrease of the T(4)/T(3) ratio (r = -0.97) was observed in FA-supplemented rats. Second experiment: both FA and HA stimulated the immune response by the 14th day (mean values: control: 685.79; FA: 1131.37; HA: 1055.6099) and 26th day (control: 544.31; FA: 1969.83; HA: 1600.00). No significant differences were noted with lymphocyte stimulation test. Diameter of the 'B'-dependent lymphoid tissues in the ileum and spleen were significantly (p < 0.05) larger in both the FA- and HA-treated animals. Humic acid and FA supplementation resulted in strong humoral immune stimulation. Our data also indicate that FA content is responsible for the mild hypothyroid effect of humic substances.
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