Essay Example on The small intestine is a vital organ involved in absorption of Nutrients








The small intestine is a vital organ involved in absorption of nutrients and good intestinal health in broiler is the key factor to achieve desirable growth rates and feed conversion efficiency The integrity of gastrointestinal tract mucosa is of utmost important in production animals as it is the first tissue that comes in contact with ingested dietary ingredients Hence assessing the intestinal morphology grossly and microscopically can indicate response of the intestinal tract to active substances in feeds The result of current study showed that the length of the small intestine was not significantly affected by the dietary treatments however there was a numerical increase in length upon inclusion of PAB in diet The results on body weight gain and small intestine length also revealed that there is a relationship between length of intestine and body weight gained that longer the gut length more the time for digesta to pass through gut which leads to better nutrient absorption and resulted in a heavier body weight Supplementation of PAB at 400 g ton also resulted in decrease in weight of small intestine

 The reduction in intestinal weight was due to thinning of intestinal wall Gunal et al 2006 which increased nutrients digestion and absorption as well In the present study the reduction in small intestine weight observed in birds supplemented with PAB at 400 g ton may be associated with a reduction in muscularis layer thickness Accumulation of lymphocytes during infection to kill the pathogens cause inflammation which in turn increases muscular layer thickness and increase the nutrient demand by the gut associated lymphoid tissues Supplementation of phytogenic feed additive containing Andrographis paniculata Emblica officinalis and Punica granatum was previously known to reduce the level of acute phase protein α 1 acid glycoprotein a marker for gut inflammation Feed X ref which is suggestive of an anti inflammatory effect of the phytogenic additives and possibly caused significant reduction in density of jejunum by suppressing the intestinal inflammation in the present study 

Furthermore it is sensible to investigate the microscopic structure of intestinal tract in response to the supplementation of PAB since microvilli plays a pivotal role in absorptive functions Generally shortened villi decreases the surface area for absorption of available nutrients while increased crypt depth indicates fast tissue turnover in response to cellular sloughing or inflammation and can lead to lower the overall performance parameters in birds Conversely long villi are usually associated with better absorptive functions of the intestine as a result of increased absorptive surface area expression of brush border enzymes nutrient transport systems Caspary 1992 resulted in healthier intestinal tract of chickens Alfaro et al 2007 and an increased body weight gain Zijlstra et al 1996 In the present investigation supplementation of PAB at 400 g ton significantly increased the villi height villi surface area and villi height crypt depth ratio in the ileum Hence supplementation of PAB improved the body weight gain and feed conversion efficiency possibly by enhanced absorption of dietary nutrients and reduced tissue turnover that might leave the energy conserved for lean muscle synthesis Besides nutrients absorption the intestine is believed to have barrier functions which usually protect the gut from external insults The epithelial surface of the intestinal tract is covered by a layer of mucus predominantly of mucin glycoproteins that are synthesized and secreted by goblet cells Smirnov et al 2004 This layer can act as a barrier between the luminal contents and the absorptive system of the intestine and protects the epithelial surface from invasion of enteric bacteria bacterial and environmental toxins Forstner and Forstner 1994 

The results of this study showed that increased goblet cells count in the villi of ileum could caused large release of mucus and formation of thick mucus layer on the wall of gut in the birds fed on diets with PAB This can partially help to explain the villi related protective properties of the phyto actives which reduced the possibility of adhesion of E coli Clostridium perfringens Salmonella and fungi in intestinal content to epithelium Jamroz et al 2005 and reduced the inflammation of intestinal tract Intestinal alkaline phosphatase a membrane bound glycoprotein which is more sensitive to change in membrane than other brush border enzymes The change in its activity levels may reflect the degree of maturation of enterocytes and function of intestinal epithelium Ghafoorunissa 2001 Iji et al 2001 Jeurissen et al 2002 Birds supplemented with PAB exhibited significantly higher ileal alkaline phosphatase activity in the present study demonstrated that dietary inclusion of PAB has a beneficial effect on the gut by favouring the maturation and function of intestinal epithelium The enhanced maturation of intestinal epithelium in birds supplemented with PAB could be due to favorable alterations in the numbers of enteric bacteria and depression of the activity of bacterial enzyme in the small intestinal digesta of broilers Xu et al 2003 This increased ALP activity in ileum is also parallely equated with the morphological measurements of increased villi height villi surface area and villi height crypt depth ratio which ultimately leads to better absorption and utilization of dietary nutrients

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