The effect of plant bioactive compounds on lamb performance, intake, gastrointestinal parasite burdens, and lipid peroxidation in muscle

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Animal Science

Publication Date

Winter 1-17-2021






Plant extracts have been widely used in animal production systems due to the benefits promoted by their bioactive components, mainly through their antioxidant effects and positive effects on animal growth, health, and meat quality. We determined whether bioactive compounds (BC) from grape (Vitis vinifera), olive (Olea europaea), and pomegranate (Punica granatum) have beneficial effects on lamb growth while controlling gastrointestinal parasitism and reducing skeletal lipid peroxidation in muscle. Fourteen lambs (4 to 5 mo of age) were housed in individual pens and assigned to two treatment groups (seven animals/group), where they received: 1) a basal diet of beet pulp:soybean meal (90:10) (CONTROL) and 2) the same diet, but containing 0.3% of BC extracted from grape, olive, and pomegranate (BNP). After 21 d of consuming their respective rations (period 1), all lambs were dosed with 10,000 L3 stage larvae of Haemonchus contortus. Intake, production, and physiological parameters were determined before infection (period 1), after oral dosage with L3 (period 2), and during early (period 3) and later (period 4) developmental stages of infection. Groups of animals did not differ in their ration intake or average daily gain, either before or after the infection, or in their parasitic burdens estimated through fecal egg counts (P > 0.05). Lambs under BNP showed greater feed efficiency before infection (P < 0.001), but the pattern reversed after infection. In addition, the inclusion of plant bioactives to the diet did not have an effect (P > 0.05) on blood or lipid peroxidation in muscle or on hemogram, serum concentration of haptoglobin, and immunoglobulin E. These results could be explained by low dietary doses and constrained absorption or ruminal inactivation of these compounds. Changes in feed efficiencies suggest a negative interaction between BC in the diet and parasitism, which warrants further research.