A comparative study on antistressor and antioxidative effects of synthetic vitamin C and polyherbal feed premix supplementation in broilers was conducted during the summer months of June-July when the mean temperature-humidity index was 84.74 ± 2.51. Day old broiler chicks (n = 60) were randomly divided into three groups. Control group I was given basal diet and treatment groups (II and III) were supplemented with synthetic vitamin C (100 g/tonne of feed) and polyherbal feed premix (1 kg/tonne of feed) from day 0 to 6 weeks of age. Biochemical parameters were analysed after the 3rd and the 5th week and erythrocytic antioxidant enzymes were analysed after the 3rdand the 6th week of experiement. Hormonal and immunological parameters were analysed after the 6th week of the study. After the 3rd week, mean plasma glucose, cholesterol and antioxidant enzyme glutathione reductase (GSSG) were significantly (P ≤ 0.01) lower in treated groups (II and III) than control (I); however total protein, albumin to globulin ratio and antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different in group II and III compared to group I. After the 5thweek, mean plasma glucose, total protein, albumin globulin ratio were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different in both the treatments compared to control. Erythrocytic GSSG were significantly (P ≤ 0.05) different in both the treatments than control, as observed after the 6th week. Stress hormones namely cortisol and thyroxine (T4) were observed to be significantly (P ≥ 0.05) higher in the untreated controls than the treated groups. Mean total immunoglobulin (Ig) level was significantly (P ≥ 0.01) higher in polyherbal premix and vitamin C treated birds than control birds after the 6th week of study. It can be concluded from the results that oxidative stress in broilers during summer could be ameliorated using antioxidant synthetic vitamin C and the polyherbal antistressor, immunomodulator and adaptogenic feed premix.
Key words: Antioxidants, glutathione, herbal, hormones, hypolipidaemic, immunity, stress.
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