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Reduced stress levels after feeding plant extracts

Modern intensive swine production systems are characterised by exposing the pigs to several stressors, including transportation, to which the animals must be able to adapt and respond. Stress-reducing feeding strategies, based on plant extracts, showed to be effective.

In the article, published on PigProgress.net, researchers explored the ability of plant extracts, based on the 5-seeded plume poppy plant, on stress levels and Salmonella shedding in pigs.

Herbal extracts from this 5-seeded plume poppy plant (Macleaya cordata) have been extensively investigated. The isoquinoline alkaloids (IQ), including benzophenanthridine (QBA) and protopine (PA) alkaloids are the biologically active components of these plants. This group of IQ have been extensively used in North America, Europe and China due to their widespread physiological properties including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.

In the article, a number of studies are explained. Several of these have shown that animals fed IQ had improved feed intake and performance. IQs have potential to regulate intestinal inflammation, thus supporting an improved intestinal barrier function and ameliorating the negative impact of stress. IQ supplementation was also evaluated in finishing pigs under transportation-stress conditions and the potential benefits on food safety were assessed in a research study at The Ohio State University, USA. Results showed a significant positive correlation between salivary cortisol and Salmonella shedding after transportation to the slaughterhouse in all groups.

Read the full article here.

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