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Quercetin benefits for poultry.

People take quercetin supplements for benefits such as regulating immunity, fighting inflammation, aiding exercise performance, and combating allergies. Poultry was the largest source of protein worldwide in 2019. As the most researched plant compound belonging to flavonoids, does quercetin benefit poultry the same way it benefits humans? Is it possible to apply this herbal ingredient as functional feed additives to their diet?

According to several publications published by the National Library of Medicine, quercetin benefits poultry (broilers). The flavonoid improves immune function, protects from hyperglycemic, prevents leg problems, and prolongs the shelf life of broilers.

Quercetin improves immunity in Arbor Acre broiler.

Study by J.X.Yang etc. shows that quercetin improves immune function via the NF-κB signaling pathway triggered by TNF-α, which elucidated the immune mechanism of dietary quercetin in boilers.

The study went with 240 1-day-old Arbor Acre broilers in 4 groups with the diet of enough nutrients, mixed with 4 levels of quercetin dihydrate in feed: 0, 0.02, 0.04, and 0.06%. The mixture was offered to the broilers in mash form after grinding.

The researchers collected the samples, immune organ indexes, blood immune parameters, and cell immune parameters in a standard way after 42days. According to the findings, 0.06% quercetin supplement in the diet increased the spleen index and the thymus index, compared to the control. It also increased the secretion of immune molecules such as IgA, IL-4, IgM, C4, and TNF-α. 0.02% quercetin supplementation, on the other hand, significantly increased complement component 3 (C3). Furthermore, 0.04 and 0.06% quercetin supplementation significantly increased TNF-α, TNF receptor associated factor-2 (TRAF-2), TNF receptor superfamily member 1B (TNFRSF1B), nuclear factor kappa-B p65 subunit (NF-κBp65), and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) mRNA expression, as well as NF-κB inhibitor-alpha (IκB-α) mRNA expression was significantly decreased. In all, the quercetin boosts the immune function of broilers via NF-κB signaling pathway triggered by TNF-α.

Meanwhile, previous research has shown that dietary quercetin supplementation improved laying performance in laying hens by modulating the intestinal environment and liver superoxide dismutase content.

chemical stucture quercetin

Quercetin prevents leg disease in broilers.

The intensive breeding practices make the broiler gain weight fast but move slowly, which leads to a higher risk of weak bones and lameness. This is normal, as high as 40-60% of flocks. This leg problem is a common bone disease named Tibial Dyschondroplasia(TD). The broilers with TD have difficulties in moving and standing, which affects the growth and health of the birds. The lack of Ca &P or low usage rate in feed, or Ca &P imbalance, may further induce bone malnutrition in broilers. The balance of Ca and P in the feed is critical for broiler leg health. But, most of the drugs used to treat this disease remain with seriously high residues as there’s not enough time to meet the long metabolic cycle of the drugs in the broiler. How to figure this out? 

Yao Li etc shred a light to us. They find that quercetin helps prevent leg diseases in broilers by regulating Ca and P in their study. They also figured out the metabolism of this in their study of 42 days of quercetin feeding of 480 AA broilers. That is, the quercetin regulates Ca and P metabolism by the Wnt signaling pathway in broilers. 

The 480 1-day-old healthy broilers were randomly allocated into four groups with different dosages of quercetin added to their diet (0, 0.02, 0.04, 0.06%) for 42 days. The result showed that both 0.04% and 0.06% quercetin obviously increased tibia ash. 0.06% quercetin increased the unit weight and relative weight of the tibia in broilers in comparison to the control. Meanwhile, 0.06% dietary quercetin significantly increased phosphorus content and bone mineral density (BMD) in the tibia. In addition, 0.06% quercetin increased the levels of serum calcium-binding protein (CB), estradiol (E2), osteocalcin (OC), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and calcitonin (CT) significantly.

The 0.06% quercetin prevents leg problems significantly by regulating the Ca and P in broilers.

Quercetin intake in broiler diets could prolong meat shelf life.

A study concluded that the intake of quercetin in broiler diets could prolong meat shelf life by reducing the rate of lipid oxidation, and increasing relative heart weight, potentially contributing to improved animal health.

Quercetin is used as a phytogenic additive in chicken feed due to the numerous expected benefits on growth performance, oxidation stability, egg and meat quality, immune characteristics, and anti-inflammation.

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