Role of Chromium in Poultry Nutrition and Health: Beneficial Applications and Toxic Effects
Mayada Ragab Farag,
Mohamed Ezzat Abd El-Hack,
Chromium (Cr) is one of the essential minerals which is required for improving productive performance in poultry due to its important functions in metabolism, growth and reduction of lipid and protein peroxidation. Under heat stress conditions, Cr plays a crucial role in poultry nutrition, production and health as well as enhances growth performance and quality of eggs in meat and egg type chickens, respectively. Supplementation of Cr may increase body weight gain, improve feed efficiency and there is also increase in carcass yield of broilers. Chromium is also a potent hypocholesteremic and antioxidant agent. The beneficial impacts of Cr have been linked with improved the metabolism and immune system. Dietary addition of Cr has promising impacts on the immune system through increasing relative weights of lymphoid organ such as thymus, spleen and bursa of Fabricius, declined heterophil/ lymphocyte (H/L) ratio, enhancing the Cell Mediated Immune (CMI) response and improving the antibody response versus the infectious diseases. Dietary supplementation of Cr may stimulate the secretion of digestive enzymes by improving the functions of liver and pancreas. Chromium present in many forms differs greatly in stability and oxidation states; therefore the added forms and concentrations should be managed well. Further, the increase in Cr dose in the diet could produce hazardous and toxic influences in chickens as well. This paper illustrates the positive and negative impacts of Cr including its physical and chemical proprieties, practical applications in poultry nutrition, production, enhancing immunity and health and a special reference to its toxic effects.
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