Effects of Chinese traditional herbal medicine complex supplementation on the growth performance, immunity and serum traits of pigs

Anim Sci J. 2011 Dec;82(6):747-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2011.00897.x. Epub 2011 Jul 13.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine complex supplementation on the growth performance, immunity and serological traits of pigs, and the feasibility of its use as a substitute for antibiotics. Thirty-six weaned pigs LYD with average initial body weight of 10 ± 0.55 kg were randomly divided into three treatments with three replicates. These constituted the control, the antibiotics group (chlortetracycline 100 µg/kg, oxytetracycline 100 µg/kg), and 0.3% Chinese herbal medicine complex group (CHM). Experiment results indicated that the CHM group exhibited significantly increased average feed intake and peripheral blood CD3(+)CD8(+) T cell percentage as compared with those of the antibiotics group (P < 0.05). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) level was greater while low-density lipoprotein + very low-density lipoprotein (LDL + VLDL) level was lower in the CHM group than the control group (P < 0.05). The in vitro results indicated that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated by Con-A produced a greater interleukin (IL)-6 level in the CHM group and IL-6 level stimulated by lipopolysaccharide was greater than the antibiotics groups (P < 0.05). Above all, this study has indicated that the addition of Chinese traditional herbal complex to pigs' diets has beneficial results.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • CD3 Complex
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology
  • Eating / drug effects
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-6 / biosynthesis
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Swine / blood
  • Swine / growth & development*
  • Swine / immunology*


  • CD3 Complex
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Interleukin-6
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL