As probiotics, fungi enhance animal health and are suitable animal feed additives. In addition to brewing fungi, there are also edible and medicinal fungi. Common fungi utilized in feeding programs include Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus oryzae
spp., Antrodia cinnamomea
, and Cordyceps militaris
. These fungi are rich in glucans, polysaccharides, polyphenols, triterpenes, ergosterol, adenosine, and laccases. These functional components play important roles in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-obesity, and immune system regulation. As such, fungal feed additives could be of potential use when breeding livestock. In previous studies, fungal feed additives enhanced body weight and egg production in poultry and improved the feed conversion rate. Several mycotoxins can be produced by hazardous fungi but fortunately, the cell walls constituents and enzymes of fungal probiotics can also act to decrease the toxicity of mycotoxins. Overall, fungal feed additives are of value, but their safety and usage must be studied further, including cost-benefit economic analyses.
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