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Effects of dietary supplementation with fermented ginkgo leaves on antioxidant capacity, intestinal morphology and microbial ecology in broiler chicks.

British poultry science (2015-04-15)
X H Zhang, Z Y Sun, F L Cao, H Ahmad, X H Yang, L G Zhao, T Wang
ABSTRACT

1. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementing diets with three types of fermented Ginkgo-leaves (FGL) on growth, antioxidant capacity, intestinal morphology and microbial ecology in broiler chicks. 2. A total of 300 d-old broilers were randomly allocated to 4 dietary treatments with 6 replications of 10 birds each. Birds were fed on basal diets (Control) or basal diets supplemented with 0.5% FGL with Candida utilis (CF group), Aspergillus niger (AF group) or their combined fermentation (CAF group), respectively, for a 42 d feeding trial. 3. AF and CAF supplementation improved body weight gain (BWG) (22-42 d) and feed conversion ratio (22-42 d and 1-42 d). Concentrations of serum α-tocopherol in CAF group, as well as hepatic α-tocopherol in the three FGL groups were increased, while hepatic reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were greatly decreased in group AF and CAF. Chickens in AF and CAF groups had decreased hepatic protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde (MDA), as well as jejunal and ileal protein carbonyls. The total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activities and glutathione (GSH) of both jejunum and ileum of the CAF group were higher than the other groups. 4. Duodenal and jejunal villous height of birds fed on the AF and CAF diets were increased, while jejunal crypt depth (CD) was decreased. Furthermore, birds fed on AF and CAF supplemented diets had increased ileal lactobacilli populations. Decreased ileal and caecal Escherichia coli and Salmonellas populations was found for the birds fed on CAF supplemented diets. 5. The present study may indicate that the improved feed efficiency and intestinal functions in the group supplemented with AF and CAF are directly connected with the improved antioxidant capacity and intestinal microbial ecology.

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