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Effect of dietary addition of seaweed and licorice on the immune performance of pigs

Authors


Keiichi Suzuki, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai 981-8555, Japan. (Email: k1suzuki@bios.tohoku.ac.jp)

ABSTRACT

In pig production, dietary additive antibiotics are usually used for growth stimulation and disease prevention, although there is public concern about the increased incidence of resistant antibiotics and food safety. It is possible that such antibiotics might be replaced by naturally derived products such as seaweed and licorice. In this study, we evaluated the effect of dietary addition of seaweed and licorice on enhancing the immune function in swine. The animals of each group (eight animals per group) were sensitized at day 42 and 49, and the immunoglobulin production and the expression of cytokines were detected by the ELISA and real-time PCR. As the results, saliva IgA production of the seaweed-treated group increased around five times compared to that of control (day 56). Delayed hypersensitivity reaction and IgG production of the seaweed-treated group increased around 1.8–2.0 times. In addition, enhanced saliva IgA production was detected at day 50 (around two times) and day 51 (around five times) by the licorice treatment, and lower expression level of tumor necrosis factor-α messenger RNA at day 51 (around 1/25) was observed in the licorice treatment. We conclude that the replacement of antibiotics by naturally derived dietary additives might be feasible for immune system enhancement.

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