Effect od supplemental dietary vitamin A on Aflatoxin B1 Toxicosis in growing Broilers

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Chibanga, Felix Joseph
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Aflatoxin B1 negatively affects broiler performance and is also a public health hazard as it has been associated with cancer in humans. Several methods have been suggested for minimizing effects of aflatoxin B1 contamination including use of anti-oxidizing agents such as vitamin A. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of supplementing different levels of vitamin A on the performance of broiler chickens fed on diets contaminated with aflatoxin B1 at 35μg/kg of the feed diets for 42 days. The study was designed as a Completely Randomized Design in which 150 Ross Breeder’s Broiler Chicks were randomly allocated to five (5) dietary treatments with each treatment being replicated 3 times. Standard broiler chicken starter, grower and finisher rations were used as controls. In the starter phase, contamination of diets with aflatoxin B1 significantly (P ≤ 0.05) reduced feed intake, bodyweight gains and feed conversion ratios. However, this was not the case in the grower and finisher phases, where only bodyweight gains and feed conversion ratios were reduced by aflatoxin B1 contamination. This also affected final body weights and dressing out percentages of broiler chickens, where those fed on contaminated diets performed poorly compared to those on control diets. It was also noted that performance of chickens improved significantly with increasing levels of vitamin A supplementation in aflatoxin B1-contaminated diets. The toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 on feed intake of broilers were ameliorated by dietary supplementation of vitamin A at 6000 IU/kg and above. However, amelioration of the deleterious effects of aflatoxin B1 on bodyweight gains and feed conversion ratios of broilers was achieved when vitamin A was supplemented in the diets at 3000 IU/kg. Levels of aflatoxin B1 contamination used in the current study did not cause any death. Furthermore, feeding aflatoxin B1 contaminated diets significantly decreased serum concentrations of total protein, albumin, triglyceride and cholesterol. Feeding aflatoxin B1-contaminated diets significantly increased concentrations of liver functional enzymes (alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransaminase) in the blood. This was an indication that increasing the levels of vitamin A supplementation reduced the negative effects of aflatoxin B1 contamination on protein and lipid metabolism in broiler chickens. It was thus, concluded that supplementing increasing levels of vitamin A to aflatoxin B1-contaminated diets results in reduced expression of toxic effects in broiler chickens.
Animal Nutrition , Aflatoxins