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Animals 2019, 9(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9010013

Garlic (Allium Sativum) Supplementation Improves Respiratory Health but Has Increased Risk of Lower Hematologic Values in Horses

1
Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Production Systems, Tietotie 2, 31600 Jokioinen, Finland
2
Ypäjä Equine College, Opistontie 9, 32100 Ypäjä, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 25 December 2018 / Published: 2 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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Simple Summary

The hypotheses of this study were that garlic supplementation may help to clear mucus in the airways, but also causes declining hematologic values in prolonged feeding. The results show that long-term supplementation of dried garlic on the level of 32 mg/kg BW improved respiratory health in terms of reduced amount of tracheal symptoms and accumulation of tracheal exudates. However, the garlic supplemented horses showed slightly declining hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (HcT) and red blood cells (RBC) values.

Abstract

Garlic (Allium sativum) is claimed to have numerous beneficial properties to the health of humans and animals. It is commonly used for example to treat respiratory diseases and infections in horses’ lungs. However, in addition to its possible positive influences, garlic may also have adverse health effects. The hypotheses of this study were that garlic supplementation may help to clear mucus in the airways, but also causes declining hematologic values in prolonged feeding. To our knowledge, this is the first organized study in controlled conditions to show the health effects of garlic supplementation for horses so far. The results show that long-term supplementation of dried garlic on the level of 32 mg/kg BW seemed to reduce the amount of tracheal symptoms and accumulation of tracheal exudates. Additionally, the number of neutrophil cells in the tracheal mucus was numerically smaller in the garlic supplemented horses. However, the garlic supplemented horses showed slightly declining Hb, HcT and RBC values during an 83-day study period. Consequently, it is possible that even low garlic supplementation levels can be detrimental to the horse’s hematology when the supplementation period is long. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse; nutrition; respiratory health; dietary supplementation; hematology values horse; nutrition; respiratory health; dietary supplementation; hematology values
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Saastamoinen, M.; Särkijärvi, S.; Hyyppä, S. Garlic (Allium Sativum) Supplementation Improves Respiratory Health but Has Increased Risk of Lower Hematologic Values in Horses. Animals 2019, 9, 13.

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