Dandelion derived bioactives may boost performance and gut microbiota of laying hens

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Luxx Images
© GettyImages/Luxx Images

Related tags gut microbiota laying hens polysaccharides Dandelion

Dandelion polysaccharide (DP) added to the diets of laying hens can improve their performance, which might be associated with the regulation of the cecal microbiota, finds a new Chinese study.

DP is derived from the root of dandelion​ and consisted of glucose, galactose, arabinose, arabinose rhamnose, and glucuronic acid.

Dandelion contains variety of bioactive substances, such as polysaccharides, polyphenols and terpenoids, and has been shown to display anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities in vitro.

A paper published in 2021 in the journal Microorganisms​ showed that dietary dandelion impacts the ruminal microorganisms and metabolites in a way to enhance rumen fermentation in lactating dairy cows.

Another more recent study found dandelion supplementation could improve lactation performance in cows​ and elevate the plasma carbohydrate and amino acids metabolism and antioxidative activity.

Further research has been conducted with dandelion supplementation in relation to broilers and pigs.

And a study published in Fish & Shellfish Immunology​ showed dietary supplements of DP can significantly improve the growth performance, skin mucosal, and serum antioxidant parameters, and strengthen the immunity of the Common Carp.

The findings 

To study the effects of dietary dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum Hand.-Mazz.) polysaccharides on the performance and gut microbiota of laying hens, the authors outlined how they assigned 300 such birds to five dietary groups: a basal diet group (CK group), three DP groups (basal diets supplemented with 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5 % DP), and an inulin group (IN group, basal diet supplemented with 1.5 % inulin).

In terms of the findings, the China-based team of researchers said they observed increased daily egg weight and a decreased feed conversion rate when the diets were supplemented with inulin or DP.

The calcium metabolism rate in the 0.5 % and 1.0 % DP groups was greater than that in the CK group, they noted.

Furthermore, the scientists saw that in the birds in the DP groups there was increased short-chain fatty acid concentration, decreased pH, and greater abundance of Parabacteroides, Alloprevotella, and Romboutsia in the cecum.

Source: International Journal of Biological Macromolecules

Title: Effects of dietary dandelion (Taraxacum mongolicum Hand.-Mazz.) polysaccharides on the performance and gut microbiota of laying hens

Authors: H Shang et al

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2022.08.008

Related topics R&D Poultry Asia Functional additives

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