Authors:József Szabó, András Vucskits, Emese Andrásofszky, Erzsébet Berta, András Bersényi, László Börzsönyi, Vilmos Pálfi and István Hullár
The aim of this study was to assess the age-related effects of dietary electrolyte balance (DEB) on the performance, immune response (from day 0 to 42) and macromineral content of femur ash of broilers. The DEB values of the purchased commercial broiler diets were modified with the addition of NH4Cl or NaHCO3 to formulate the diets (DEB 325, 250, 175, 100, 25 and −50 mmol/kg) for this investigation. A total of 396 chickens were divided into 6 treatment groups and fed with the experimental diets for 6 weeks. During the first two weeks of life, DEB did not influence feed intake and body weight gain; however, by the 21st day of age DEB 175 and between 22 and 42 days of age DEB 250 mmol/kg gave significantly better results than the control. DEB did not affect the macromineral concentrations of bone ash. The immune response of broilers on low DEB (< 175 mmol/kg) was faster and more intensive than that of chickens on diets with medium or high DEB (> 175 mmol/kg). It can be concluded that the optimal DEB value required for the best body weight gain is significantly influenced by the age of broilers. Our results call attention to the discrepancy between the decreasing DEB level of commercial broiler diets and the age-related increase of ‘electrolyte requirements’ of broilers. It is also interesting that DEB may influence not only the performance but also the immune response of broilers.
Authors:István Hullár, András Valentin Vucskits, Erzsébet Berta, Emese Andrásofszky, András Bersényi and József Szabó
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of fulvic acid (FA) and humic acid (HA), the two main compounds of humic substances (HSs), on copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) homeostasis. Seventy-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into nine experimental groups. The control diet (AIN-93G formula) and the diets supplemented with 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8% FA or HA were fed for 26 days. Cu and Zn concentrations of the large intestinal content (LIC), liver, kidney, femur and hair were determined. FA and HA did not influence significantly the Cu or Zn contents of the experimental diets, the rats’ feed intake, weight gain and the feed to gain ratio. Both FA and HA decreased the Cu concentrations of the LIC significantly and in a dose-related manner; however the absorption-stimulating effect of HA was more pronounced. FA increased the Cu content of the liver, but neither FA nor HA had a dose-dependent effect on it. FA or HA supplementations had no significant effect on the Cu concentration of the kidney. At the concentrations used, dietary FA or HA supplementations are not promising growth promoters. FA influences the Cu homeostasis unlike HA, because FA not only stimulates Cu absorption, but the extra quantity of absorbed Cu is retained in the organism. The stimulatory effect of HA on Zn absorption may not be manifested in Cu and Zn homeostasis, because of the tight connection of these microelements to FA and HA, which prevents the transmission of Zn from the ZnHA complex to the organs. As regards the effect of FA and HA on Cu and Zn homeostasis, both FA and HA stimulated the absorption of these microelements, but only FA increased the retention of Cu (in the liver) and Zn (in the kidney).
Authors:József Szabó, András Valentin Vucskits, Erzsébet Berta, Emese Andrásofszky, András Bersényi and István Hullár
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of fulvic acid (FA) and humic acid (HA) as the two main compounds of humic substances, separately on Fe and Mn homeostasis. Seventy-two male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 9 experimental groups. The control diet (AIN-93G formula) and diets supplemented with 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.4% and 0.8% HA or FA were fed for 26 days. Fe and Mn concentrations of the large intestinal content, liver, kidney, femur and hair were determined. No significant differences were observed in the production parameters. The effects of FA and HA on iron homeostasis were significantly different. FA proved to be a good iron source, and slightly increased the iron content of liver and kidney, but — up to a dietary iron level of 52.7 mg/kg — it did not influence the efficiency of iron absorption. Above a dietary iron level of 52.7 mg/kg down-regulation of Fe absorption can be assumed. HA significantly stimulated the iron uptake and there was no down-regulation of Fe absorption up to 0.8% dietary HA supplementation level (61.5 mg Fe/kg diet). In the HA groups the iron content of the liver and kidney decreased significantly, suggesting that in spite of the better Fe absorption, the HA—Fe complex does not provide iron to the investigated organs. Neither FA nor HA supplementation influenced the Fe content of the femur and hair and slightly decreased the Mn concentration in the large intestinal content. This effect was significant (with a 22.7% Mn concentration decrease) only at the HA supplementation rate of 0.8%. Neither FA nor HA influenced significantly the Mn concentrations of the liver, kidney and femur. The Mn concentration of the hair in rats receiving FA- or HA-supplemented diets was higher than in the control rats; however, this result needs further confirmation.
Authors:József Szabó, Emese Andrásofszky, Tamás Tuboly, András Bersényi, Andrea Weisz, Nikoletta Hetényi and István Hullár
The objective of this study was designed to test whether supplementation of the diet with arginine (Arg) or glutamine (Gln) or their combination influences the production, organ weights and humoral immune response of broilers. A total of 432 one-day-old male Ross 308 broiler chickens were divided into 6 treatment groups: control, Arg-0.5%, Arg-1%, Gln-0.5%, Gln-1% and Arg-0.5%+Gln-0.5%. Drinking water and feed were provided ad libitum. On day 18 of the experiment 50% of chickens in each treatment group were immunised with bovine serum albumin. Ten and 21 days after immunisation blood samples were collected to determine the anti-albumin IgY titre, interleukin 6 (IL6) and interferon gamma (IFNG) and to measure the weight of the liver, spleen, bursa of Fabricius and thymus. Arg or Gln supplementation of the diets influenced neither the production nor the organ weights until 18 days of age. Between 18 and 39 days of age both Arg (0.5% and 1%) and Arg + Gln supplementation improved the feed conversion ratio (FCR) by 3.7%, 6.3% and 4.9%, respectively, while Gln-1% worsened it by 15%. Immunisation slightly (−0.79%) depressed the body weight gain of broilers fed the control diet, which was significantly improved by both Arg (0.5 or 1%) and Arg + Gln supplementation. Immunisation increased the weight of the spleen, bursa and thymus and decreased that of the liver. Supplementation with 1% Gln depressed (−5.13%) the body weight gain of the immunised chickens but strongly stimulated the immune response. Supplementations with Arg and Gln did not influence the IL6 and IFNG level of the blood; however, on day 10 after immunisation these two parameters showed a negative correlation with each other. Regarding production, organ weights and immunity, Arg supplementation should be recommended in the grower phase, while Gln supplementation can be useful in pullets raised for egg production, where a good immune response to vaccinations is an important factor.