The paper was published in the Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences.
The team noted such additives might be beneficial in terms of sexual behavior, hormone profiles, and sperm quality in both fresh and preserved semen.
They also determined that such feed inputs could provide promising options for enhancing the reproductive efficiency of females in terms of in vitro fertility and conception rates.
Addressing industry goals
The influence of diet on the fertility complications commonly noted in ruminants is of global interest, said the authors.
“The reproductive performance of ruminants is economically significant, and its improvement is a primary goal of the livestock industry to ensure its sustainability,” said the team.
Phytogenics, continued the authors, have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and metabolism-regulatory properties, prompting interest then in their use to enhance the reproductive efficiency of livestock. They also have lower toxicity compared to synthetic antioxidants, said the authors.
While the effects of phytogenics on ruminant digestion and absorption are well-explored, the team said their impact on reproductive performance remains poorly investigated.
Their review was focused primarily on the influence of phytogenics on semen quality, hormonal profiles, and hematobiochemical indices in male ruminants.
Based on available data, phytogenics are perceived to improve oocyte quality, reproductive performance, and pregnancy, said the team.
However, more comprehensive research on the benefits and potential hazards of the use of phytogenics is required to improve reproductive performance in ruminants, stressed the reviewers.
"Studies have shown that extracts from herbs or phytochemical compounds have beneficial effects on fresh semen and post/thawed semen (Ahmed et al., 2019, Ahmed et al., 2020, Nikhade et al., 2019, Azimi et al., 2020).
"However, their effects on reproductive performance require further investigation to achieve potential improvements and reduce hazardous risk (Khalifa et al., 2014, Hashem et al., 2018a, Hashem et al., 2018b, Ahmed et al., 2020, Merati and Farshad, 2020)."
Source: Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences.
Title: Effects of phytogenic feed additives on the reproductive performance of animals
Authors: Abd El-Hack et al