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Benefits of olive bioactives in gut health


For optimal animal performance and well-being it is essential to support intestinal health. Olive bioactives could be considered as an interesting tool to fight against gut disorders derived from stressful situations in poultry farming.


BY MARTA BLANCH, GEMMA TEDÓ, AND JOSE J. PASTOR, INNOVATION DIVISION LUCTA S.A


O


lives and olive oil are an essential part of the Med- iterranean diet and are associated with having many beneficial effects on health and especially for being a source of large amounts of valuable


monounsaturated fatty acids, although a huge majority of de- scribed benefits are mainly attributed to the presence of other minor bioactive compounds, including flavonols, polyphenols (i.e. hydroxytyrosol), secoiridoids (i.e. oleuropein), tocopherols, and triterpenes (i.e. oleanolic acid, maslinic acid) among others. Biological activities related to them include antioxidant, an- ti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-artherogenic and anti-tu- mour properties. The tremendous potential of these bioactive compounds has inevitably expanded the research around the generation of bioactive-rich olive extracts and the benefits of their use in different fields.


Challenges in broilers production During the short but intensive production cycle of broiler


chickens, animals are submitted to multiple challenges, which includes dietary changes, pathogen exposure and high density etc. The adaptation process to these stressful situations involves a subclinical inflammatory response which if it is not properly solved, can become chronic. This status of subclinical chronic inflammation affects gastrointestinal function and health (Figure 1), leading to a lowered nutrient absorption and the consequent energy expenditure derived from the immune system activation. Unpaired metabolism has a direct negative impact on animal performance, with the associated economical loses. Recently, these problems were hidden with the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) but after their ban in 2006 they arose again, and there is still a needed to find cost -effective alternatives.


How to study gut health in poultry? There are different biomarkers for monitoring intestinal health in poultry; each one is providing specific information and therefore, they are complementary. Several authors reviewed the most appropriate biomarkers to evaluate gut health in poultry, classifying them depending on the target of study: intestinal integrity (tight junction components, histology -villi length and crypt depth-, transepithelial electrical resistance- TEER), gut permeability markers (i.e. mannitol and lactulose, for transcellular and paracellular transport, respectively) and immune status (cytokines, acute phase proteins, etc.). Unfortunately, most of the


Figure 1 -


Gastrointestinal function in a healthy and damaged gut.


82 ▶ GUT HEALTH | DECEMBER 2020


PHOTO: LUCTA SA


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