Dietary turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) supplementation improves growth performance, short-chain fatty acid production, and modulates bacterial composition of weaned piglets
Received: Feb 10, 2021; Revised: Mar 03, 2021; Accepted: Mar 10, 2021
Published Online: Apr 02, 2021
In livestock nutrition, natural feed additives are gaining increased attention as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters to improve animal performance. This study investigated the effects of dietary turmeric supplementation on the growth performance and gut health of weaned piglets. A total of 48 weaned piglets (Duroc X [Landrace X Yorkshire]) were used in a 6-week feeding trial. All piglets were allotted to two dietary treatments: corn-soybean meal basal diet without turmeric (control) and with 1% weight per weight (w/w) turmeric powder (turmeric). The results showed that dietary inclusion of turmeric with the basal diet improved final body weight and total average daily gain (<italic>p</italic> < 0.05). The concentrations of short-chain fatty acids in the fecal samples, including acetic, butyric, and propionic acids, were higher in the turmeric group (<italic>p</italic> < 0.05). The villus height-to-crypt depth ratio was higher in the ileum of turmeric-fed piglets (<italic>p</italic> = 0.04). The 16S rRNA gene sequencing of fecal microbiota indicated that, at the phylum level, <italic>Firmicutes</italic> and <italic>Bacteroidetes</italic> were the most predominant taxa in all fecal samples. <italic>Bacteroidetes </italic>were significantly decreased in the turmeric group compared to the control group (<italic>p</italic> = 0.021). At the genus level, turmeric showed a decreased abundance of <italic>Prevotella</italic> (<italic>p</italic> = 0.021) and an increasing trend of <italic>Lactobacillus</italic> (<italic>p</italic> = 0.083). Among the total detected species, nine bacterial species showed significant differences between the two groups. The results of this study indicated that turmeric altered the gut microbiota and short-chain fatty acid production. This suggests that turmeric could be used as a potential alternative growth promoter for piglets.