Journal of Animal Science and Technology
Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology

Dietary turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) supplementation improves growth performance, short-chain fatty acid production, and modulates bacterial composition of weaned piglets

Neeraja Recharla1, Balamuralikrishnan Balasubramaniana1, Minho Song2, Pradeep Puligundla3, Soo-ki Kim4, Jin Young Jeong5, Sungkwon Park1,*
1Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea.
2Division of Animal and Dairy Science, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Korea.
3Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Gachon University, Seongnam 13120, Korea.
4Department of Animal Science and Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea.
5National Institute of Animal Science, RDA, Jeollabukdo 55365, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Sungkwon Park, Department of Food Science and Biotechnology, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea, Republic of. Phone: +82-2-3408-2906. E-mail:

© Copyright 2021 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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> &lt; 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> &lt; 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.

Keywords: Weaned piglets; turmeric; gut health; gut microbiota; growth promoters; 16S rRNA sequencing