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Open AccessArticle

The Influence of Essential Oils on Gut Microbial Profiles in Pigs

1
Microbiology and Virology Institute, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilžes g. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Immunology Laboratory, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilzes g. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Institute of Animal Rearing Technologies, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilzes g. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Department of Food Safety and Quality, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Tilzes g. 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Institute of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Sukileliu pr. 13, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Department of Drug Technology and Social Pharmacy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eivenių str. 4, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
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Department of Food Science and Technology, Kaunas University of Technology, Radvilenu Rd. 19, LT-50254 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101734
Received: 20 August 2020 / Revised: 20 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 24 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Animal Microbiomes: Food Production, Microbes, and One Health)
In recent years, the intake of ultra-processed foods has increased dramatically worldwide. Missing natural foods in the diet raise the need of biologically active food components that could compensate for this deficiency and help maintain proper immune status. In this study, the microbial changes in pigs as experimental animals were assessed as influenced by consumption of oregano extract combination with peppermint and thyme essential oils. The results demonstrated that the combination of plant extracts had a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract of animals by increasing the number of probiotic bacteria. Based on the results obtained it may be outlined that the combination of oregano extract and peppermint and thyme essential oils can be promising ingredient as a functional component for the development of the new nutraceutical preparation.
In recent years, the intake of ultra-processed foods has increased dramatically worldwide. Missing natural foods in the diet raise the need of biologically active food components that could compensate for this deficiency and help maintain proper immune status. This study used pigs as an animal model for the assessment of the impact of consumption of Origanum vulgare plant extract combined with Mentha piperita and Thymus vulgaris essential oils on microbial profile in intestines. A single group of weaned pigs received basal diet, while the other group basal diet supplemented with plant extract and two essential oils in the form of bilayer tablets prepared using “liquid/solid” phase technology. Metagenomic sequencing was performed with the aim to investigate changes of microbial communities in ileum, caecum, and colon. The results demonstrated that the combination of essential oils was non cytotoxic, and had a positive effect on the microbial composition in the large intestine of pigs due to significant increase in the number of probiotic bacteria. The amount of Lactobacillus was 2.5 times and Bifidobacterium 1.9 times higher in the animal group fed with supplement. The combination, however, had some negative impact on the variety of minor species in the distal part of the ileum. Additional studies need to be performed to obtain knowledge on how combinations of essential oils can change bacterial variety in the proximal part of the gastrointestinal tract. View Full-Text
Keywords: Origanum vulgare; Mentha piperita; Thymus vulgaris; pigs; probiotic bacteria; microbiota Origanum vulgare; Mentha piperita; Thymus vulgaris; pigs; probiotic bacteria; microbiota
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Ruzauskas, M.; Bartkiene, E.; Stankevicius, A.; Bernatoniene, J.; Zadeike, D.; Lele, V.; Starkute, V.; Zavistanaviciute, P.; Grigas, J.; Zokaityte, E.; Pautienius, A.; Juodeikiene, G.; Jakstas, V. The Influence of Essential Oils on Gut Microbial Profiles in Pigs. Animals 2020, 10, 1734.

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