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International Journal of Pharmacology
Year: 2014  |  Volume: 10  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 357 - 367

Modes of Action and Beneficial Applications of Chromium in Poultry Nutrition, Production and Health: A Review

Rifat Ullah Khan, Shabana Naz, Kuldeep Dhama, Mani Saminathan, Ruchi Tiwari, Gwang Joo Jeon, Vito Laudadio and Vincenzo Tufarelli    

Abstract: Trace elements supplementation is now widely considered not only essential but also beneficial to avian species. In the last few decades, chromium (Cr) has been considered to play important role in livestock and poultry nutrition, production and health and also as a potent toxin depending on the dosage levels. It has been documented that chromium may enhance growth rate and egg quality in meat and egg type chickens, respectively. Chromium is identified as an essential nutritional supplement and it has been utilized for weight gain, to improve Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), increase relative organ weight, muscle development and relative breast mass, that’s why Cr has been a popular mineral supplement. It is also a potent antioxidant and hypocholesterimic agent. It increases the retention of other essential elements in blood and decreases their excretion. The beneficial effects of Cr have been linked with improved nutrient digestion and enhanced metabolism. Chromium (Cr) supplementation may improve function of various digestive organs such as liver and pancreas with regards to secretion of digestive enzymes. Supplementation of Cr has promising effects on the immune system by way of relative increase in lymphoid organ weight (bursa of Fabricius, spleen and thymus), decreased heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, enhanced antibody response against infectious diseases and increased Cell-Mediated Immune (CMI) response. In the current review some of the beneficial aspects of Cr in poultry nutrition and their possible mechanisms of actions are discussed with a view to explore and promote its optimum utilization in poultry production and health.

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