Effect of ferulic acid on growth, digestibility, digestive enzyme activity, immunity and antioxidant status of broilers

Author: J. Du, Y. Wang, R. Wang, X. Ji, J. Zhang, T. Guo, Y. Hu, X. An, A. Gao & J. Qi
Year: 2022
Issue: 3
Volume: 52
Page: 280 - 290

This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of ferulic acid (FA) on the growth, nutrient digestibility, digestive enzyme activities, immunity and antioxidant status of broilers. Ninety-six one-day-old male Arbor Acres broilers were randomly divided into two groups with six replicates of eight birds each, including control group (CON) and FA group (80 mg/kg diet). The experiment included starter (days 1–21) and finisher (days 22–42) phases. Compared with CON, FA group had higher average daily weight gain (ADWG) and lower feed to gain ratio (F:G) in the starter phase, and higher average daily feed intake (ADFI) in the finisher phase. The digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP) and ether extract (EE) were higher in FA-fed broilers in days 19–21, but DM, OM and EE digestibility were lower in days 40–42. Ferulic acid treatment increased duodenal trypsin and jejunal amylase activity on day 21, but decreased duodenal trypsin, chymotrypsin activities and jejunal lipase activity on day 42. FA supplementation increased serum immunoglobulin M (IgM) and tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) concentrations on day 21. Ferulic acid-fed broilers had greater hepatic glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity and lower serum malondialdehyde (MDA) level on day 21. On day 42, the serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, hepatic SOD and GSH-Px activities was decreased in FA group. In conclusion, FA as an exogenous antioxidant at dosage of 80 mg/kg diet enhanced growth performance via improvement of digestive enzyme activities, immunity and antioxidant status of broilers in starter phase.

Keywords: feed supplement, immunologic function, natural antioxidant, phenolic acid
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