Role of antioxidants in feed

Antioxidants play a major role in animal health, production and performance. This is due to the detrimental effects of radicals and toxic products of their metabolism on various metabolic processes. It is a well known fact that oxidative stress is involved in many degenerative disorders. The oxidative free radicals are therefore considered as pathobiochemicals mechanism for initiating or progression of various diseases. The prooxidant-antioxidant balance can be regulated by optimal nutrient uptake or providing herbal antibiotics. Thus, the essential step in maintaining the balance between the oxidative damage and antioxidative defense in the animal body would be to boost the antioxidant capacity by optimizing the dietary intake of antioxidants.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. It is an important anti-stress agent. However, it can be easily oxidized. Sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is required in collagen biosynthesis and protein metabolism.

Vitamin E is the found in the biological membranes and lipid droplets. Vitamin E is absorbed in the small intestine with various efficacies depending on the diet composition, level of supplementation, age, sex and other individual characteristics of animals. It is the main chain-breaking antioxidant in biological systems.

Carotenoid is a natural pigment, responsible for yellow, orange and sometimes red pigmentations in plants, insects, birds and marine animals. They possess antioxidant activity. They have some health promoting properties, including immune system modulation. They are found in some plant-derived feed ingredients.

Manganese has an essential part of a range of enzymes taking part in antioxidant protection, bone growth and egg shell formation carbohydrate and lipid metabolism including processing of cholesterol.

Zinc is the second most abundant trace element trace element in mammals and they take part in antioxidant defense as an integral part of SOD, hormone secretion, keratin generation and epithelial tissue integrity immune function.

Iron has a vital role in antioxidant defense as an essential component of catalase, energy and protein metabolism, hence respiratory carrier, electron transport, oxidation-reduction reaction.


The microorganism community in the gut is generally referred to as friendly bacteria, gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut micro-flora. The poultry gut is a diverse community of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. There are multiple interactions in the GI tract between the host (bird) cells, the intestinal environment, bacterial cells, and feed components. Hence, the gut micro-flora is extremely important in maintaining the health of the bird. 
The micro-flora in the gut prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium Commensals (or friendly) micro-flora either inhibit the growth or make the environment unsuitable for less favorable bacteria.
The increased presence of bad bacteria is called dysbacteriosis. These bad bacteria affect nutrient absorption in the gut of birds which, in turn, affects bird’s health and performance. To tackle this issue, we have introduced Herbofloxin which is of natural origin and it maintains the health of the gut. It has phytoconstituents of antibacterial nature that target the gut pathogens including important zoonotic bacteria.
Herbofloxin maintains the acidic pH in the gut, which promotes the growth of commensals and resist pathogen attachment to the gut. The result is an immune-modulator effect which improves tolerance to pathogenic bacteria and improves gastrointestinal microclimate so as to improve the digestibility and uptake of nutrients. All these results almost nullify the
the requirement of antibiotics making it an effective Natural antibiotic growth promoter or an effective alternative to synthetic antibiotics.

Gut inflammatory status in poultry

The gastrointestinal tract is the most exposed surface in the body and many diseases are largely related to the gut health status of the broiler. It is an important organ system as poor gut health results in poor nutrient assimilation. Some bacteria play an important role in helping broilers digest feed. Feed constituents affect the viscosity of the gastric content which helps in the development of small intestine microbiota.  Any significant fluctuation in number or type of commensal leads to diarrhea which may cause severe damage to the intestine ultimately leading to poor performance and diseased birds. Dysbiosis that outnumbers good bacteria for which bad bacteria are then able to exert their undesirable effects on the gut lining. Thus, to maintain good health and welfare farmers should focus on the integrity of the intestinal system.

Many causes lead to the loss of intestinal integrity such as.

  • Immuno-suppression: This can be caused due to viral diseases, vaccination, or some disease challenges.
  • Antimicrobial activity: The use of antimicrobial growth promoter’s effect on bacteria can affect the natural microflora of the intestine.
  • Environmental factors: Many clostridial spores or coccidia can persist despite harsh environmental conditions that may gain infectivity later under favorable conditions.
  • Feed factors: Correct formulation of the diets play a critical role. Some of the ingredients such as enzymes incorrectly mixed or applied can have devastating consequences to intestinal integrity.
  • Water: Adequate supply of clean potable water is a norm. Any deviation in water quality has a direct effect on the gut.

Disturbance in the intestinal integrity may affect the health status and overall performance of birds in poultry production. Strategies such as prevention programs towards infectious disease and using alternatives to antibiotics are advisable replacing the existing chemical antibiotic to maintain intestinal homeostasis.