Poultry is highly sensitive to oxidative reactions. Oxidative reactions have attracted considerable attention from animal and food scientists because of the adverse effects of these reactions on animal welfare, performance and food quality. Despite its implication in multiple biological functions magnesium (Mg) supplementation is typically overlooked in broiler diets. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of Mg supplementation (0.3%) using a commercial product (Optibreast®
) on production parameters, the redox status and meat quality in broilers challenged with dietary (oxidized oil) and heat stress. The incidence of myopathies, namely, wooden breast (WB) and white striping (WS) was also assessed. Mg supplementation had a clear interaction with the absorption/accumulation of Ca in blood and breast muscle but this effect had no negative influence on any of the production parameters under study. Mg supplementation had positive effects on particular meat quality traits such as water holding capacity (WHC) and color. WHC may have other positive effects in turn on relevant sensory traits such as juiciness. Mg supplementation protected against protein oxidation in liver and plasma of broilers. This effect may be related to the increased activity of catalase in such tissues. Mg supplementation reduced the incidence of WS and WB myopathies to almost half the occurrence of such defects in animals fed a control diet. Further studies with a larger number of animals and the application of advanced proteomic/metabolomic tools are required to (1) corroborate the positive influence of Mg on myopathy incidence and (2) identify the underlying molecular basis of the proposed mechanisms.
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