Dietary supplementation with Acanthopanax senticosus extract enhances gut health in weanling piglets Academic Article uri icon


  • The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of Acanthopanax senticosus extract (ASE) as a dietary additive on gut health in weanling piglets by examining diarrhea frequency, intestinal microbiota and morphology. A total of 96 Duroc× (Landrace × Yorkshire) piglets weaned at 21 days of age with an average initial body weight (BW) of 5.6 ± 0.4 kg were randomly assigned to 3 treatment groups with 4 duplicates of 8 piglets each. The piglets were fed basal diet to which had been added 0 or 1 g/kg of ASE, or 0.7 g/kg antibiotics, respectively. Fecal consistence was monitored twice daily and the frequency of diarrhea was calculated. On day 21 after the initiation of supplementation, 8 piglets were randomly selected from each treatment group (2 piglets per pen) and slaughtered. The jejunum, ileum, colon and cecum were then excised and fixed in 10% neutral formalin solution to determine villus height and crypt depth, after their contents were collected to determine microbiota. The results showed that dietary supplementation with ASE increased (P < 0.05) the density of bacterial populations that co-migrated with Lactobacillus amylovorus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Bacillus subtilis, and Clostridium lituseburens, but decreased (P < 0.05) those co-migrating with Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Ruminococcus forques, and E. coli O157:H7 in the PCR-DGGE profiling analysis when compared with the control group. The villus height of the duodenum, jejunum and ileum increased (P < 0.05) by 14.8, 13.7 and 10.0%, while the crypt depth decreased (P < 0.05) by 17.9, 9.1 and 12.1%, respectively, in response to dietary ASE supplementation. Additionally dietary supplementation with ASE or an antibiotic decreased (P < 0.05) the frequency of diarrhea by 55.6 and 52.2%, respectively, compared with the control group. In conclusion, these findings suggest that dietary supplementation with ASE could regulate the microbiota composition and maintain a normal morphology of gut mucosa in weanling piglets, thereby decreasing diarrhea that resulted from weaning stress. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Fang, J., Yan, F. Y., Kong, X. F., Ruan, Z., Liu, Z. Q., Huang, R. L., ... Yin, Y. L.

citation count

  • 28
  • 29

publication date

  • August 2009