Special Issue "Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Pietro Lombardi
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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: animals physiology; clinical biochemistry; hematology; behavioral sciences
Prof. Pietro Medica
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: endocrinology, metabolism, exercise physiology, animal physiology
Dr. Nadia Musco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: animals nutrition, feed evaluation, animal production, food of animal origin

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutraceutical is a broad term coined from “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” and refers to “nondrug substance that is produced in a purified or extracted form, administered orally to provide agents required for normal body structure and function, with the intent of improving the health and well-being of animals”. Nutraceuticals are feed or part of a feed that provides health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease. Veterinary nutraceutical medicine has been defined as “the use of micronutrients, macronutrients and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents”. The use of conventional therapies, as pharmaceutical products in association with diet and nutraceuticals, is the goal of integrative veterinary medicine in order to improve health conditions and wellness in patients, but also to improve behavior, performance, and food quality. Nutraceuticals are generally very safe to use, because of poor adverse effects, and may be used as a primary therapy or added to conventional medicine. An increasing number of veterinarians is prescribing nutraceuticals in their practice. Indeed, the mechanisms by which nutraceuticals act on animals’ metabolism, including hematology, blood profile, and endocrine status, often need to be elucidated. The topic is of great interest for almost all species, including companion animals, livestock, and animal models.

Prof. Pietro Lombardi
Prof. Pietro Medica
Dr. Nadia Musco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • alternative medicine
  • animal behavior
  • animal performance
  • animal physiology
  • animal welfare
  • functional feeds
  • herbal medicine
  • nutraceuticals
  • nutritional supplement
  • technological production processes

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Zinc and Copper with New Triazine Hydrazone Ligand: Two Novel Organic Complexes Enhanced Expression of Peptide Growth Factors and Cytokine Genes in Weaned V-Line Rabbit
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121134 - 12 Dec 2019
Abstract
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, [...] Read more.
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, twice per week, for eight weeks on growth performance, expression of growth factors and cytokine genes, carcass yield, blood biochemicals, and intestinal morphology in weaned rabbits. The tested complexes were sulfate (Cu/ZnSO4), montmorillonite (Cu/Zn-Mnt), and triazine hydrazone (Cu/Zn-Thz). A total of 60 V-line weaned rabbits at four weeks of age were assigned to four treatments (n = 15), which were intramuscularly injected with 0.5 mL of either (1) saline (control) or saline containing (2) Cu/ZnSO4, (3) Cu/Zn-Mnt, or (4) Cu/Zn-Thz. Compared to the controls, the rabbits injected with Cu/Zn-Thz showed a higher (p < 0.01) growth rate, carcass yield (p < 0.05), and liver expression of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), growth hormone receptor (GHR), fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1), and transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFB1) (p < 0.05), as well as better jejunum morphometric variables (p < 0.05). On the other hand, mRNA of FGF1, TGF1, TCIRG1, and adenosine deaminase (ADA) were higher expressed (p < 0.05) in the spleen tissues of Cu/Zn-Mnt group. Collectively, the results indicated that our novel synthesized organic complexes of Zn/Cu-Thz proved to be a suitable feed supplement, as it increased rabbit productive performance through enhancing expression of peptide growth factors and cytokine genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Effect of the Addition of Humic Substances as Growth Promoter in Broiler Chickens Under Two Feeding Regimens
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121101 - 09 Dec 2019
Abstract
Humic substances (HS) from different sources have been evaluated to replace or reduce the use of growth promoter antibiotics (GPA) in the feeds of broiler chickens. The objective was to evaluate the growth performance, tibia measurements, nutrient balance, meat quality, and microbiological status [...] Read more.
Humic substances (HS) from different sources have been evaluated to replace or reduce the use of growth promoter antibiotics (GPA) in the feeds of broiler chickens. The objective was to evaluate the growth performance, tibia measurements, nutrient balance, meat quality, and microbiological status of broiler fed with an HS extract (EHS) under ad libitum (ADLIB) or feed restriction (REST). Individually caged broilers (n = 180, 14–35 day of age) were assigned to a factorial arrangement of three dietary treatments: (1) positive control with bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD) and salinomycin; (2) negative control without BMD nor salinomycin, and (3) same as negative control with 0.25% EHS, and two feeding regimens 1) ADLIB or REST for 24 h on d 1, 7, and 14. Results were subjected to ANOVA. Positive control and EHS-fed broilers showed higher carcass yield (p < 0.05) and lower oocyst excretion (p < 0.01) compared to negative control birds. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) were higher in negative control and EHS-broilers compared to positive control (p < 0.01). In conclusion, higher carcass yield, lower C. perfringens and oocyst excretion were found in positive control and higher carcass yield, higher LAB and lower oocyst excretion were found in EHS-fed broilers. Broilers subjected to REST had reduced growth performance and meat quality. In conclusion, EHS could be used to increase the carcass yield and beneficial LAB in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of Resveratrol Improves Systemic Inflammation Responses in LPS-Injected Lambs
Animals 2019, 9(11), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110872 - 28 Oct 2019
Abstract
Highly intensive livestock production often causes immune stress to animals, which makes them more susceptible to infections. The aim of this study was to examine whether resveratrol (Res) alleviates inflammation in lambs. In Experiment 1, 16 male lambs were injected with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) [...] Read more.
Highly intensive livestock production often causes immune stress to animals, which makes them more susceptible to infections. The aim of this study was to examine whether resveratrol (Res) alleviates inflammation in lambs. In Experiment 1, 16 male lambs were injected with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) at an initial dose of 0.25, 1.25, and 2.5 μg/kg body weight (BW) for 9 days. Average daily gain and blood parameters were measured and clinical symptoms were recorded. In Experiment 2, 20 male lambs were injected intravenously with LPS (0 mg/kg) + Res (0 mg), LPS (2.5 μg /kg) + Res (0 mg, 82.5 mg, 165 mg, 330 mg), 4 h after LPS injection. Jugular blood was collected from each lamb to determine white blood cell (WBC) counts and the expression of inflammatory genes. In Experiment 1, all LPS-treated lambs showed clinical signs of sickness including rhinorrhea, lethargy, and shivering, and systemic inflammatory responses of increased inflammatory genes levels and cortisol concentration. The lambs had increased respiratory and heart rates and rectal temperature and decreased average daily gain and feed intake. In Experiment 2, resveratrol significantly reduced WBCs and the expression levels of several genes associated with inflammation response (TLR4, NF-κB, c-jun) and inhibited the signaling cascades of NF-κB and MAPKs by down-regulating the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ) induced by LPS. Resveratrol attenuated the LPS-evoked inflammatory responses in lambs by suppressing expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, and blocking NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Induction of Chemerin on Autophagy and Apoptosis in Dairy Cow Mammary Epithelial Cells
Animals 2019, 9(10), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100848 - 21 Oct 2019
Abstract
Involution of the mammary gland is a complex process controlled by various endocrine hormones and cytokine. As a novel adipocytokine, Chemerin not only plays a pivotal role in physiological and pathological processes such as immune response and lipid metabolism, but is also involved [...] Read more.
Involution of the mammary gland is a complex process controlled by various endocrine hormones and cytokine. As a novel adipocytokine, Chemerin not only plays a pivotal role in physiological and pathological processes such as immune response and lipid metabolism, but is also involved in the regulation of programmed cell death, including autophagy and apoptosis. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate whether autophagy and apoptosis of bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) was triggered by Chemerin. BMECs were cultured and treated with Chemerin in vitro. The expression of autophagosome-forming marker, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 II (LC3-II) and sequestosome-1 (SQSTM 1, best known as p62), a substrate of autophagosome degradation were detected. The result showed that Chemerin significantly decreased the expression of p62 and markedly induced the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II. The ratio of Bcl2-associated X and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bax/Bcl-2) and the activity of caspase-3 were up-regulated after being treated by Chemerin, and the apoptotic rate was also significantly increased. These results suggested that Chemerin promoted the occurrence of autophagy and apoptosis in BMECs. Chloroquine (CQ), which is an inhibitor of autophagy. To explore effects of Chemerin on apoptosis, we prevented Chemerin-induced autophagy by pre-adding CQ in BMECs. Interestingly, this part of the experiment helped us find that all effects of Chemerin on apoptosis of BMECs could be enhanced with the inhibition of autophagy. Our study demonstrates that Chemerin-induced autophagy and apoptosis are mutually regulated in BMECs, but the specific mechanism remains to be further researched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Essential Oil Blend Could Decrease Diarrhea Prevalence by Improving Antioxidative Capability for Weaned Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(10), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100847 - 21 Oct 2019
Abstract
Finding an alternative to in-feed antibiotics is important because of increasing contemporary concern regarding drug residues and the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that essential oils added to the feed would decrease diarrhea prevalence [...] Read more.
Finding an alternative to in-feed antibiotics is important because of increasing contemporary concern regarding drug residues and the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that essential oils added to the feed would decrease diarrhea prevalence in post-weaned pigs. Ninety weaned piglets (initial body weight (BW): 8.1 ± 1.4 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three dietary diets: (1) a control diet (CON, the basal diet without antibiotics), (2) an antibiotic diet (AB, CON supplemented with colistin sulfate, 20 mg/kg and bacitracin zinc, 40 mg/kg), or (3) an essential oil diet (EO, CON supplemented with an essential oil blend 100 mg/kg) in a completely randomized block design for a 28-day period. The results revealed that AB and EO improved the average daily gain of the piglets from day (d) 15 to 28 (p < 0.05). The diarrhea prevalence in piglets fed AB and EO was lower than that of piglets fed CON (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the growth performance or diarrhea prevalence between the AB and EO treatments. Nutrient digestibility was measured at d 28. Compared with CON, EO increased the apparent total tract digestibility of gross energy and crude protein (p < 0.05). Villus height in the duodenum and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth in the jejunum for piglets fed AB and EO was greater than those for piglets fed CON (p < 0.05). The essential oil blend improved the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), but decreased the 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine content in serum on d 14 (p < 0.05). Decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl content were observed on d 28 in comparison with CON (p < 0.05). The mucosa in the jejunum of pigs fed EO had greater T-AOC, SOD levels, and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities than that of pigs fed CON (p < 0.05). Pigs fed EO and AB had greater GSH-Px activity in the liver tissue than pigs fed CON (p < 0.05). Not only did jejunal and ileal mucosa have EO upregulated SOD1 mRNA expression (p < 0.05), this was also the case in liver tissue. GPx1 expression in the ileal mucosa and GPx4 expression in the liver tissue were higher for pigs fed EO when compared to those fed CON (p < 0.05). Collectively, a dietary essential oil blend supplementation, which has natural antimicrobial properties, could enhance growth performance and decrease diarrhea prevalence in weaned pigs through increases in antioxidative capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats
Animals 2019, 9(10), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100832 - 19 Oct 2019
Abstract
The use of CBD-rich hemp products is becoming popular among pet owners with no long-term safety data related to consumption in adult dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to determine the single-dose oral pharmacokinetics of CBD, and to provide a [...] Read more.
The use of CBD-rich hemp products is becoming popular among pet owners with no long-term safety data related to consumption in adult dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to determine the single-dose oral pharmacokinetics of CBD, and to provide a preliminary assessment of safety and adverse effects during 12-week administration using a hemp-based product in healthy dogs and cats. Eight of each species were provided a 2 mg/kg total CBD concentration orally twice daily for 12 weeks with screening of single-dose pharmacokinetics in six of each species. Pharmacokinetics revealed a mean maximum concentration (Cmax) of 301 ng/mL and 43 ng/mL, area under the curve (AUC) of 1297 ng-h/mL and 164 ng-h/mL, and time to maximal concentration (Tmax) of 1.4 h and 2 h, for dogs and cats, respectively. Serum chemistry and CBC results showed no clinically significant alterations, however one cat showed a persistent rise in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) above the reference range for the duration of the trial. In healthy dogs and cats, an oral CBD-rich hemp supplement administered every 12 h was not detrimental based on CBC or biochemistry values. Cats do appear to absorb or eliminate CBD differently than dogs, showing lower serum concentrations and adverse effects of excessive licking and head-shaking during oil administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Supplementation of 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol Improves Livability in Broiler Breeder Hens-Amelioration of Cardiac Pathogenesis and Hepatopathology
Animals 2019, 9(10), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100770 - 08 Oct 2019
Abstract
A supplement of 69 μg 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3)/kg feed increased livability in feed restricted (R-hens) broiler breeder hens by 9.9% and by 65.6% in hens allowed ad libitum feed intake (Ad-hens) in a feeding trial from age 26–60 weeks. Hens with higher bodyweight and/or [...] Read more.
A supplement of 69 μg 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3)/kg feed increased livability in feed restricted (R-hens) broiler breeder hens by 9.9% and by 65.6% in hens allowed ad libitum feed intake (Ad-hens) in a feeding trial from age 26–60 weeks. Hens with higher bodyweight and/or adiposity suffered sudden death (SD) earlier in conjunction with compromised heart rhythms and over-ventilation. In the study with the same flock of hens, we demonstrate that 25-OH-D3 improved hen’s livability and heart health by ameliorating systemic hypoxia, acidosis, and cardiac pathological hypertrophy through calcineurin-NFAT4c signaling and MHC-β expression in association with reduced plasma triacylglycerol and hepatic steatosis and fibrosis (p < 0.05). In contrast to live hens sampled at 29, 35, and 47 weeks, SD hens exhibited severe cardiac hypertrophy that was either progressive (Ad-groups) or stable (R-groups). Actual and relative liver weights in SD hens from any group declined as the study progressed. Heart weight correlated significantly to total and relative liver weights in SD-hens of both R- and Ad-groups. In contrast to normal counterparts sampled at 35 and 47 weeks, R-hens exhibiting cardiac hypertrophy experienced severe hypoxia and acidosis, with increased bodyweight, absolute and relative weights of liver and heart, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol content, and cardiac arrhythmia (p < 0.05). The present results demonstrate that pathological cardiac hypertrophy and functional failure are causative factors of SD and this pathogenic progression is accelerated by hepatopathology, particularly during the early age. Increased feed efficiency with rapid gains in BW and fat increase hens’ risk for hypoxia, irreversible cardiac hypertrophy, and arrhythmias that cause functional compromise and SD. Additional supplementation of 69 mg/kg feed of 25-OH-D3 to the basal diet is effective to ameliorate cardiac pathogenesis and prevent SD in broiler breeder hens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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