Effects of essential oil supplementation of a low-energy diet on performance, intestinal morphology and microflora, immune properties and antioxidant activities in weaned pigs

Anim Sci J. 2015 Mar;86(3):279-85. doi: 10.1111/asj.12277. Epub 2014 Oct 9.

Abstract

A total of 144 weaned piglets were used to evaluate the effects of essential oil (EO) supplementation of a low-energy diet on performance, apparent nutrient digestibility, small intestinal morphology, intestinal microflora, immune properties and antioxidant activities in weaned pigs. Pigs received a low-energy diet (negative control, NC, digestible energy = 3250 kcal/kg), NC plus 0.025% EO or a positive control diet (PC, digestible energy = 3400 kcal/kg) for 28 days. Growth performance was similar between the EO group and PC group. However, EO supplementation increased (P < 0.05) average daily gain and the apparent digestibility of dry matter, crude protein and energy compared with pigs fed the NC diet. Greater (P < 0.05) villus height and lower (P < 0.05) counts of Escherichia coli and total anaerobes in the rectum in the EO group were observed compared with NC or PC groups. Pigs fed EO diet had higher (P < 0.05) concentrations of albumin, immunoglobulin A (IgA), IgG and total antioxidant capacity and lower fecal score than pigs fed the PC and NC diets. Above all, this study indicates that supplementation of EO to a low-energy pig diet has beneficial results and obtains similar performance compared with normal energy (PC) diet.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; essential oils; microflora; performance; pig.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / metabolism
  • Animal Feed*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic
  • Bacterial Load
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Digestion / physiology
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Escherichia coli
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Intestines* / anatomy & histology
  • Intestines* / immunology
  • Intestines* / microbiology
  • Oils, Volatile / administration & dosage*
  • Swine / growth & development*
  • Swine / physiology*
  • Weaning

Substances

  • Albumins
  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Oils, Volatile